Lifter of the Week - Capt. Stephen R. Bender, USMC - Rip Toned

Lifter of the Week - Capt. Stephen R. Bender, USMC

This feature aims to highlight and acknowledge outstanding individuals who never stop pushing in pursuing their fitness goals. It is a tribute to all weightlifters, athletes and fitness enthusiasts who share the same struggles and obstacles, conquering fears and most of all celebrating victories. We are all in this together.

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a. Where are you from?

Born in Morgantown, WV on March 14, 1982


b. Instagram name



c. What motivates you to train?

My son. I learned a long time ago that motivation has a tendency to be fleeting, so I always use my son as my personal discipline, perseverance, and passion. With the military life requirement of exceptional fitness, my personal love of sports and competition, and a general love of personal progression in all areas, all those things help me to provide a better, healthier, and more fulfilling life for my son.


d. What’s your greatest success in lifting?

Hitting my PR on deadlift on a day I was going to put off my workout until my son reminded me we had plans after my workout.


e. What music do you listen to when training?

It varies, however it is important that it creates an emotional response of some kind; joy, sadness, anger, regret, guilt, loss... All emotions are useful and knowing how to use them to improve yourself is a wonderful habit to have.


f. Who is your weightlifting inspiration?

My son and my mentors. They are the reason my goals are as high as they are and continue to grow.


g. Do you have any shout outs or people you’d like to thank?

My mother, father, brother, and wife (Steve, Janice, Brian, and Lana), for raising me, encouraging me, putting up with me, loving me unconditionally, and instilling and encouraging my work ethic throughout my life. I know it's been difficult at times but I want them all to know I wouldn't be where I am physically without them.

1stSgt Bill "Superbeast" Radebaugh (@billy.superbeast.rad), my best friend and adopted brother, for inspiring me to change the course of my life and join the military and center my life around fitness and improving myself for a higher purpose.

My mentors Maj Tim Riemann (@tim.riemann) and LtCol Eric Henzler (@ejhenzler17), for igniting my drive for preperation, inquiry, skepticism, hardwork, overall personal progression, all with a reminder that there's always time for a beer. They are the very reason I am the Marine Officer I am today.

CWO2 Javi Corcino (@amongstkingsandqueens) and SSgt Justin Houston (@4myfmly) for introducing me to online marketing, fitness, and helping me navigate a new skill all while being some of the best lifting partners I've ever had. They are why I was able to start and make it as enjoyable as I have.

My Marines, every single Marine that has been under my charge during my 13 year career. My success has always been because of their hard work. - And most importantly, my son. He is the reason for everything and everything I do and succeed at is because of him. I love you Little Man.

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