IPF to replace Wilks with new formula
The International Powerlifting Federation (IPF) is to ditch the Wilks formula and replace it with a newly developed 'IPF Formula' from next year.
The decision was announced in the agenda for the IPF's general assembly on November 4th.
The Wilks formula is a coefficient which has long been used to compare the performance of lifters in different weight categories by doing some complicated maths involving lift numbers and body weight. If you want to know whether a 60kg lifter is more impressive than a 90kg, despite the heavier athlete lifting more total weight, Wilks is what you use.
But that's all about to change.
We spoke to IPF Executive Committee member Eva Speth, who's overseeing the transition to the new formula. She says the reasons for the rule change fall into 3 categories: better lifters, better equipment, and more data.
The Wilks formula was “developed approximately 25 years ago,” she told us. “At this time not so many lifters took part in competitions; and mainly men, only a few women. That means the amount of data available to develop a new formula has been increased.
“The next reason is the development of supporting equipment. The current equipment is much more efficient and increases performance very much. It's not comparable to the equipment that was used 25 years ago...
“Training methods have been improved as well, that leads to better performance of lifters”
Speth went on to explain that postgraduate researchers in the Chemnitz University of Technology's Department of Research Methodology and Data Analysis in Biomechanics had been tasked with evaluating 5 proposals. They ultimately reduced the number to 2 very similar formulas, with the IPF itself making the final decision.
While she couldn't tell us exactly when the formula will be released, she did say the final decision has been made, and everything will be on the IPF website soon.
We'll keep you updated.
IMAGE: the IPF/Instagram