Most familiar with Jen Thompson’s exploits, both in the gym and on the lifting platform, understand she’s usually prepared for greatness. In a career spanning back almost a quarter-century, Thompson has usually stood tall atop the podium. In recent years, the athlete seemingly has more first-place finishes than ever. For example, between her last 16 competitive appearances since June 2021 — which sometimes featured cameos in various weight classes — Thompson has fallen short on only three occasions. If one of her newest feats with a barbell indicates anything, the powerlifter seems inevitably due for more greatness.
On Feb. 7, 2022, Thompson shared an Instagram video of herself capturing a 147.4-kilogram (325-pound) bench press during a training session. Per a caption in the video itself, Thompson completed the press while weighing 144 pounds meaning, for context, the lift was 2.25 times her body weight. Such a body weight would also translate to the 67.5-kilogram division, Thompson’s usual recent category as a United States Powerlifting (USAPL) competitor. Thompson completed the lift wearing wrist wraps and no other supportive gear.
Thompson’s lift at her body weight might have been more notable considering what it portends for her potential competitive ambitions.
This bench press from Thompson is only one kilogram (2.4 pounds) off her all-time raw competition best. Thompson achieved that top American Record press of 148.5 kilograms (327.4 pounds) at the 2022 USAPL Carolina Primetime contest during a third-place performance in the 75-kilogram weight class.
After noting the ease with which Thompson completes this press, it seems likely she’ll only add to her best soon. Per the caption of the post, Thompson in planning to compete at the Arnold Sports Festival, March 2-5, where she seems to have to the potential to break her own record.
As for official record marks, Thompson holds the bench press World Record in both the 60-kilogram and 67.5-kilogram categories. Thompson pressed 136.9 kilograms (300.9 pounds) at the 2012 North American Powerlifting Federation (NAPF) Raw Challenge for the 60-kilogram mark. Meanwhile, the athlete scored a 144.4-kilogram (318.5-pound) bench press for the 67.5-kilogram record. On an International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) scale, in the IPF’s 69-kilogram weight classes, Thompson possesses the IPF World Record of 144 kilograms (317.4 pounds). She achieved this record amidst a second-place performance at the 2017 IPF Reykjavík International Games.
In line with how her recent competitive pursuits have gone, 2023 might be another notable year for Thompson. If the athlete is already dropping not-so-subtle hints of what she’s capable of the gym, another record may soon be added to her resume.
Featured image: @jenthompson132 on Instagram