I did up until 6 months ago and I am stronger using a barbell than when I was training with them.
Come again? Can you re-word that sentence because you lost me? Are you saying that you're stronger now than when you were training with the team? If so, why are surprised? You're older and not even close to being at your strongest. All I'm saying is that you can't put much stock into what you could or could not accomplish while you're young and inexperienced.