Sioux Falls Hosts The 2019 USA Powerlifting Bench Press Nationals

SIOUX FALLS, S.D –  If you needed some gym motivation this weekend, Sioux Falls was the place to be.

For the Thompson’s, lifting weights is a family affair.

“Whenever we lift, we all lift together,” says powerlifting athlete Tucker Thompson.

“I’ve been waiting for these kids to grow up so I can power lift them for 12 years now,” says powerlifting athlete Jennifer Thompson.

Jennifer is not a new face to the world of power lifting. She is a 7 time IPF world bench press champion and world record holder, and a 4 time powerlifting world champion. Her work ethic seems to be contagious. And, in a sport that requires sacrifice, her son Tucker doesn’t lack any motivation.

“I’ve cut weight. I have not eaten for a day, and then if I’m still overweight by a lot, you get in a bathtub as hot as it can go and sit there for as long as you can,” says Tucker.

The Thompson family came to none other than Sioux Falls for the 2019 USA Powerlifting Bench Press Nationals. The event was held at the convention center, and to say it was diverse would be an understatement.

There were competitors from 39 states. The youngest athlete was 13. The oldest? 90.

Even through these differences, there was a sense of community.

“Powerlifting’s a really community oriented sport, and I think it’s something that makes it really great is we’re always willing to help each other, and that’s definitely what helped me get into the sport when I was a young man, is all of the helpfulness of everyone,” says powerlifting athlete Ryan Carrillo.

For the Thompson family, competing is fun, but, character development is what it’s all about.

“You create a strong body, you feel better, you have more self-esteem, and you have more of a self-worth,” says Jennifer.

Looking strong on the outside is nice, but nothing compares to the mental toughness required to get there.

To learn more about powerlifting, or to get involved yourself, go to

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