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Which Coefficient Formula Do You Agree With?


I was wondering which coefficient systems do you guys agree with and why? How do formulas that seem really scientific, like the Wilks, work? Wikipedia's explaination of the Wilks seemed to much like algebra.

I disagree with NASA's formula because it gives to big of an advantage to the heavier lifters.
I also think direct body weight ratio formulas do the same thing for the lighter lifters so I disagree with them just like NASA, even though body weight coefficient's benefit me as a lighter lifter. These are the only two I've had experience with.

Why are there so many formulas?


There are so many because the people that use them as a means to determine who is the strongest are pussies. Whoever lifts the most should win the most. Regardless of body weight. I know that I have gotten a 220 wilkes just on deadlift. What does that mean? That I am good at math? Who cares. Sorry, stuff just pisses me off.

Plus, some coefficients have calibrations and handicaps for different ages? what is that shit about?


Storm you remind me of when Tony Cardella said "nobody wants to see an ant lift a potato chip" when we were at collegiate nationals watching guys in the 148's squat in the 600's. I would say if everyone were to agree on a wilks formula it would give a way to compare across weight classes, not necessarily make things even, just give a comparison. You can't say that some guy weighing 250 and squatting 750 is any better than a guy weighing 150 and squatting 500. I don't mean to turn this into a debate of absolute vs relative but it tends to discredit some smaller lifters if you say larges number always wins.


My whole point is, this is why we have weight classes. Whoever lifts the most in the weight class wins. All of the stupid coefficients complicate the hell out of things. For example, lets take 2 superheavyweights. One weighs 400lbs and totals 2850. That is a wilkes of 694 and probably, what, one of the top 5 highest totals ever? But then a 309lb guy totals 2730. Which is about the same wilks. So is that a tie?

By the way, not to be a dick, but in your example, the 250lb 750 squatter would score 13 more wilks points than the 150lb 500 squatter. haha. See what I mean though? These coefficents arent even good at describing relative strength... which is what they are supposed to be doing.

I do agree that we do need some sort of efficient comparision system/equation but there really isnt a good one yet. The only thing that would make sense is an equation that compares, say whatever you or anyone else lifts at whatever meet at whatever time, with the all-time records for your federation in your weight, age, and gear class. See what I am saying? Let's take your example, Say that 750 squat at 250 was the 10th highest all-time for that federation/weight class/age/gear catergory and then that can be equated to a number through some fancy equation. But if that 500 at 150 is 5th all time, now the little guy has a higher relative score. I don't know, something like that. haha.


I still don't get why it's not just your total divided by bodyweight to see how many times BW they lifted.


Any way you cut it, getting stronger is better.


Especially if it builds up the strength for a false grip on a fish!


The 3 lifts have different advantages for body shape not just weight. Now if we dropped those and replaced with Zercher squats measured in Lift/BW I think that's something everyone would be able to agree on.


Put me in the category with others that just don't like zercher squats! I would like to know exactly how they came about the wilks formula. There is so many things to take into account with powerlifting. I still find smaller strong guys impressive when they lift a lot relative to their bodyweight but I know many people don't.


I couldn't disagree with this more.

If this were the case, only the heaviest guys would be competing and the sport would appeal to even fewer people than it already does.

Actually, I think the sport should get rid of weight classes and base placement totally on wilks. So instead of everybody winning a trophy at meets (which really annoys me), only the strongest men and women would place, regardless of their BW. To me, if you lift more as a percentage of BW, then you're stronger. Period.

No one mentioned the McCullough formula, which takes into account age in addition to BW.

And, yes. I'm small.


does anyone use their co-eff scores to determine their own training goals ?

or to determine whether their programming/diet needs tweaking ?


If you're short and can squat and bench but can't deadlift for shit, and you judge your performance by coeffecient, those squat and bench advantages as well as deadlift disadvantage still exist.

Take the same guy, and judge his performance by total/BW, those squat and bench advantages as well as deadlift disadvantage still exist.

No matter how you judge ones performance, there will still always be certain advantages and disadvantages for certain bodytypes. I don't see how that'd change how you'd judge ones performance in a meet.

...Unless some formulas take height/leverages into consideration and I don't know that...?

If so, you gotta be shitting me. lol


I agree with most of this.

I don't think weight classes should be eliminated, but I certainly don't think the biggest total regardless of weight should be the winner. I used to train with a guy like that. (Sorry not all of us want to turn into a 330lb kettlebell just for powerlifting...)

Personally, I think the biggest total in each weight class should determine the winner.

This coming from a guy who'd have won a meet if winners were done by wilks as opposed to what they were - judged from outright totals per weight class.


I could care less about what formula people use, however determining winner by percentage of bw would be as unfair as comparing totals. Is a 450lbs deadlift by a 150lbs lifter as impressive as a 900lbs deadlift by a 300lbs lifter? No. You see 150 lifters deadlift 450 on a regular basis (record for 150 is like 5x bodyweight), while there have only been a dozen or so humans to deadlift 900 at any bodyweight.

I would guess lighter lifters would prefer to use formula's while heavier lifters prefer totals. In my view, I would guess most lifters go in to meets with a goal of getting a PR total, not with getting a PR Wilks formula.


It absolutely would be fair. On what basis would it be unfair?

I agree with this. No one goes to meets to watch a 110-lb. woman lift. I know this and understand why it's so.



These sorts of formulas piss me off. I agree with StormTheBeach. Whoever lifts the most is the strongest and the most impressive. It's like making a formula to say that a big slow dude is fast for his size. Whoever runs the fastest is the best, just like whoever lifts the most is the best.


Agreed. Allen Iverson is not the best basketball player ever, despite being barely 6' and incredible. And neither is Larry Bird despite being white. So I guess all the height and race coefficients don't work either.

Kidding aside, I don't think STB is talking about your small local meet champs and who is the best lifter there. Obviously a 242 barely beating out a 181 in total at a local meet does not mean much. But when you start talking about the top powerlifters in the country, all that matters big boys lifting the most weight (unless you are Shawn Frankl).

And I am not one of the big boys either.


My federation uses this:


At every meet, outstanding lifter and first choice of trophies is done by coefficient.


One legged or two?


Because you reward people for being lighter rather than stronger. Here's why... Randomly, take a look at the WABDL national rankings for 2010 in the deadlift...

Benny's 1015lbs deadlift @ 380lbs is a 2.66x lift... If you compare this to the WABDL in 2010, there are 34 lifters, just in the 148lbs category, with higher bw% lifts... Overall, the man with the strongest pull ever would probably not even rank in the top 100 at the WABDL nationals meet.

I have no problem with using Wilks formula's to determine "best lifter" for meets, but when you determine the meet on wilks only, then you are talking "relative strength" vs. "absolute strength."

I have no problem with someone saying they are relatively stronger than me, but if you are going to be stronger than me, you better lift more weight.