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How is the "Best Lifter" determined in an APF meet?



Aug 26, 2010
How is the "Best Lifter" determined in an APF meet?


How is the "Best Lifter" determined in an APF meet?

All APF powerlifting contests have a number of weight classes for which men and women can compete. In most contests, the meet director looks to not only crown the first place winners of each weight class, but also pound for pound overall best lifter or lifters. So, we use a formula to compare lifters of different bodyweights. With getting into the statistical analysis of it all, a formula was created by using the best lifts for each weight class. The formula then creates coefficients for a lifter's bodyweight that is to be multiplied by the total amount of weight lifted. Essentially, multiplying the coefficients times the total weight lifted creates a coefficient total that can be compared to coefficient totals from lifters in different weight classes. And, the highest coefficient total is the Best Lifter. Note that there are different formulas for men and for women.

For example, let's say a 220 pound male lifter totals 2000 pounds and a 165 pound lifter totals 1400 pounds. First, to use the formula, all of those numbers must be converted into kilograms. So the 100 kg lifter totals 907.19 kg and the 75 kg lifter totals 635.04 kg. Using the coefficient tables (which will be discussed below),the 100 kg lifter (who weighed exactly 100 kg) would have a coefficient of 0.581300. The 75 kg lifter (who weighed exactly 75 kg) would have a 0.688550 coefficient. Then by multiplying the total weight lifted by the coefficient, a coefficient total for the best lifter is calculated. So, 907.19 kg times 0.581300 equals 527.35, and 635.04 times 0.688550 equals 437.26. So the 220 lifter would win the Best Lifter award.

For most of the existence of the APF, the Reshel Formula was used to determine the best lifter, created by a former APF Technical Officer, Greg Rechel. Recently, however, the APF adopted the new Glossbrenner Formula, created by Powerlifting USA Statistician Herb Glossbrenner. This formula, however is not really a new formula as much as a combination of two older ones. It took the average of the coefficients from the oldest formula, the Schwartz, and new IPF formula, the Wilks. Herb Glossbrenner contended that the Reschel too heavily favored the very light weight lifters, and was outdated. He also contended that, while they were both okay formulas, the Schwartz formula favored the lighter lifters and the Wilks favored the heavier lifters. So, he took the average of the two to balance them out.

***DISCLAIMER: Some of the opinions expressed in this article are only those of the author, Eric Stone.

*** Additional information:

In the old days of 'Weightlifting' the late Bob Hoffman originated a 'Hoffman Formula' to determine whether or not a lighter lifter was better or not than a heavyweight. When Powerlifting came of age, a set of bodyweight coefficients came into use, where each lifter's bodyweight was assigned a coefficient. This coefficient, multiplied by the lifter's total, gave a product number which determined who was 'Best Lifter.

When APF was formed, Technical Officer Greg Reshel issued a new set of bodyweight coefficients for both men and women, and a set of charts for their usage was made. In 2004 Herb Glossbrenner revised the formula coefficients for the APF-AAPF-AWPC.

The Glossbrenner Formula here.