Phil Castle, The Business Times
Kevin Triplett has built muscles and businesses and sees some similarities between the two processes.
Success depends on setting goals and following plans, but also remaining flexible when unexpected changes arise. More than anything, it requires heavy lifting literal and proverbial, Triplett said. “Rules like that apply to both of them.”
The Grand Junction man competes in powerlifting events and holds state, national and world records for the bench press. Triplett won his age and weight classes at the recent Olympia Invitational in Las Vegas in lifting a world record 512.6 pounds.
He’s the first man competing in the United States Powerlifting Association who’s 50 or older and weighs less than 305 pounds to bench press more than 500 pounds.
While he’s closed the business, Triplett operated Tripnozzi Muscle Cars. The Grand Junction shop built and sold custom cars, including cars he sent to Barrett-Jackson auctions in Arizona and Nevada. Tripnozzi was well known, he said, for restomods — cars restored to their original appearance, but modified with modern, high-performance components.
Triplett said he served as a kind of general contractor in working with mechanics and others to incorporate his ideas into his own cars and projects he took on for clients.
Triplett now works in the oil and natural gas industry as a lease operator, managing well operations in the Collbran area.
Triplett said he’s trained for powerlifting competitions for about two years, but participated in sports in high school, college and during his service in the Air Force.
He said he decided to compete in powerlifting after discovering the amount of weight he was lifting in the gym was already close to record levels.
He’s competed in the masters class for lifters age 50 and over and in several weight classes. He won the masters class and open class for all competitors at the Ikaika Warrior Powerlifting Championships in Bakersfield, Calif. He won the USPA national competition in the bench press in the masters class and finished second in the open class for all competitors.
Triplett also won the masters class at the Olympia Invitational in Las Vegas even though he had to lose 20 pounds to qualify for the 242-pound class.
While he plans to take some time off from competitions, Triplett said he believes he can lift even more weight and advance his records.
Pressed for his preference between building muscles and muscle cars, Triplett doesn’t hesitate. “I like the weightlifting way better.”
He said he enjoyed the creativity that goes into building muscle cars, in creating something that was both new and appealing. But it was a difficult business in which to make a profit. And there were factors in play beyond what he could control.
Competitive powerlifting, on the other hand, involves a step-by-step process and more certainty, he said. “You have more control. You do things right, you will get results.”
There are some similarities, though, between competing in powerlifting and running a business, Triplett said.
It’s essential to set goals or there’s a risk of stagnating, he said. It’s important to make plans and stick with them, but also remain flexible enough to adapt to changes.
Competing in powerlifting and running a business also requires effort and fortitude, he said. “You’ve got to put in the hard work to succeed.”