Powerlifter Jen Thompson Benches 144kg at -63kg for a New World Record

Jennifer Thompson secured her place in powerlifting history a long time ago, but she’s still pushing the sport’s limits. This weekend she set yet another IPF world record in the bench press with a phenomenal 144 kilograms (317.5 pounds) at about -63kg (139 pounds) bodyweight.

For someone who just set a new standard for human power output, she posted a pretty humble caption beneath her video:

New @ipf World Bench Record of 317.5 lbs (144 kg in 63 kg wt cl). It really was an amazing day. Everything felt great. Thanks to the support of my @usapowerlifting Team Mates, Team Thompson, USA coach AND my sponsors

[Here’s how Thompson maintains her bench strength while she’s on the road and restricted to hotel gyms.]

The lift took place at the IPF World Classic Bench Press Championships in Finland, and she made history with another first: this was the first time a mother, father, and son all participated in the competition at the same time. Tucker, the youngest sub-junior male, won bronze in the -53kg class with a 70kg lift and Thompson’s husband Donovan came 7th in the M2 -83kg class with 152.5kg.

We named Jennifer Thompson’s 142.5-kilogram bench press from last year as one of the top ten strength feats and performances of 2017, and breaking that record by a whole 1.5 kilograms is a seriously impressive feat. We’ve embedded last year’s lift below.

[Read the 6 most underrated powerlifting accessories recommended by Jen Thompson, Blaine Sumner, and other elite powerlifters!]

And if you’re thinking to yourself, “Haven’t I seen her lift 144 kilograms before?” then you’d be right. At the Reykjavik International Games in January 2017, she weighed in at 63.15 kilograms, meaning she had to compete as a -72kg athlete. And she still set a new world record with 144 kilograms, a lift that remains the current world record for the –72kg class.

And earlier that same month, she lifted 147.4kg at Liberty University. We could go on and on about the incredible bench presses she’s put up throughout her career, but one thing is certain: she’s left an indelible mark on the sport. Congratulations on her latest record. We’re sure she’ll enjoy breaking it soon enough.

Featured image via @jenthompson132 on Instagram.


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Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of different kinds of things, but his passion for health ultimately led him to cover it full time.Shanghai was where he managed to publish his first health related article (it was on managing diarrhea), he then went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before he finished his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and headed to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.Nick’s interest in health kind of comes from an existential angle: how are we meant to live? How do we reach our potential? Does the body influence the mind? (Believe it or not, his politics Master’s focused on religion.)Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.