Name: Jennifer Thompson
Location: Denver, NC
You are literally one of the greatest female Powerlifters in the world. Did you always know from a young age that you had this gift? How did you get started?
Not at all. (Laughs) I was a long distance runner. I competed in cross country during high school. I believe my best time was around 21:50. During track season, I did the high jump and ran 800 meters. I also played volleyball. By the time I got to college, I was running 10k races for fun. I got started when I met my husband, Donovan. He was a weight lifter and lifted in the army. He said running was stupid and I needed to lift weights (laughs).
He had a group of buddies that lifted in his basement. I thought he was pretty hot so I started lifting with him (laughs). It was a rather large group; they would lift then hang out afterwards and have fun. I wanted to be part of the fun. I did a little here and there and then I got hooked.
Were you better than the boys?
In high school, we used to have gym class every semester and we had a program called Marine Fitness where we did a test which consisted of: 100 sit-ups in 2 minutes, 50 pushups, 30 pull-ups, standing broad jump, a shuttle run, rope climbs and different agility stuff. It's kinda like Crossfit now. We would go to and compete against different schools. I was really good at it and I loved it. I did it every semester starting my sophomore year and thats where a lot of my upper body strength came from.
What are your accomplishments?
- Best RAW bench press man or woman in the world @ 156.
- Most proud: #1 female full Powerlifter in the world.
I'm well known for my bench but a lot of people don’t remember that I'm still a Powerlifter and I won the Powerlifting Classic the last 3 years in a row.
It's to my understanding you met your husband lifting. What was that like? First date in the gym?
He was my boyfriend's wrestling coach in high school. We didn’t start dating until later. We were always in a big group of friends. He and his girlfriend at the time bought this giant house and a bunch of people including myself moved in.
One night after they had broken up he looked at me and asked to go to a party. There was something different about the way he asked me because usually we did everything in a group and it was just us. We hung out and went to eat and the rest is history. He always tells me that he was just waiting for me to get old enough (laughs).
Valentines day is approaching. Do you find that you spend “Date night” hitting the iron?
Yes, that's pretty much it (Laughs).
Do your kids possess your talent?
We have 2 boys. Our 13 year old, Tucker, just finished his first Powerlifting competition. Tucker took 3rd in the youth division. He broke two American records although they didn’t count because it wasn’t a state meet.
Tucker's best lifts:
105lb bench press
He's 5'0, weighs 88lbs, and is in the 7th grade. He's adopted from Russia: always been strong. He tends to accidentally hurt his friends. His hand are giant and meaty. He’s thin and all muscles. It’ll be interesting to see how he turns out when he gets older.
How long have you been using SSP products?
Since before they even came out! I was a test subject before production (laughs). I told Dennis that you can’t give me this stuff and then not give me any for my competition (laughs). I ended up taking his!
Which products do you use?
I use the PRE, POST, CREATINE, and LEAN MUSCLE MEAL.
How do you find that SSP gives you the edge?
SSP products gives me the energy and drive to power through my workouts from start to finish. I used to get tired and have a hard time finishing. Now, not only do I finish, sometimes I find myself throwing extra on there because I feel so good. I like the POST too because it helps me recover for the next workout pretty well.
What are your goals?
Im going to Iceland next week and I’m upping my weight class to 72 to try and break another world record. After that, I’m super excited about the Arnold. It's gonna be in an expo this year and there will be some awesome chaos surrounding us and more eyes will be on me.
What message do you have for females out there who feel intimidated about lifting?
Find other females to do it with you! I'm doing a camp called Iron Sisters USA, which is for women ages 16-50 who have never competed or have just done basic competitions, and it's a women’s weekend where Kimberly Walford, Bonica Lough, our Canadian friend, Frances Manias, and I teach them form and everything we know about powerlifting.
The feedback has given me goosebumps. They have much better balance and feel so empowered. Many new friendships were created and they can continue the bond afterwards. It's awesome.