Letter to the new Powerlifter

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Letter to the new Powerlifter

Powerlifting is a great sport that is conducive to all body types, ages and athletic abilities. You can start at any point in your life, whether you are a teenager or in your fifties. It is a sport you can compete in, leave and come back later. The only athletic requirements for powerlifting are determination and motivation. You do not have to be a certain body type to be good in this sport. I am a testament to that with my long legs, long arms and small waist.

What you will find in this sport, is a sense of community. There is a plethora of information on the web from YouTubers, to IG’ers, to free websites and apps to help you get started. My recommendation for starting in this sport however, is go to a competition watch and talk with the athletes. We love to talk about our sport. From there, you will establish friendships and hopefully training partners. We help and encourage each other. We are competitors on the platforms and friends off.

When I started this sport I was a thin girl with very little self confidence. I would go to the grocery store and worry that people were looking at me. I would go to the check out counter and have red cheeks from embarrassment afraid I would do something wrong. When I was in public places, I would walk with my head down hoping no one would notice me. This was a hard way to live, but then I found weight training which lead to powerlifting. Once I started powerlifting, my head gradually started to rise. As I started to notice my muscles developing so did my confidence.

In the beginning of my training, I started with benching the bar and gradually added the small plates. Once I was able to bench with 25lb. plates on each side of the bar, I was hooked on this sport and the immediate gains I was making. As my body got stronger, so did my mind. My self confidence shot through the roof and I started to accomplish things I had never imagined.

I have seen this same phenomenon happen all around me. A friend of mine had been in an abusive marriage for years. I had tried many times to get her to leave her husband. One day, she finally took me up on my offer to train with me. The change I saw in her was very much the same as my own. Head started to come up. She started getting compliments on her muscle development and began to feel like she had worth. After lifting for two years, she finally made the changes that were needed, she got divorced and really started the life she wish she had.

As a high school teacher I have seen this development of self confidence happen in my students. One particular student was in my 9th grade math class. She had terrible grades, was sick/absent all the time and had excuses for everything. In her 10th grade year, she joined my after school powerlifting club. After a few weeks, she was shocked at the strength she developed and fell in love with the sport. She started competing and won our State Powerlifting Championships. She went from a barely passing student, to the A/B honor roll. She started joining clubs, learned Spanish and went to Costa Rica to build schools. She became my leader in the powerlifting club and when she graduated high school she was granted a college scholarship.

Whether you aspire to firm up your body and mind or set out to be a World Champion Powerlifter this sport is for you. This sport, my sport, is for everyone.

Jennifer Thompson
10 time IPF World Champion
IG jenthompson132
Facebook 132 Pounds of Power

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