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Alternative to using relative strength formula
(Read 9583 times)
Brent Kim
Judge
 
United States United States Male 13 posts
« on: June 20, 2007, 12:24:11 am »

( MODERATOR'S NOTE: Moved to its own thread as this is a core issue that is topical well beyond the current rule draft. )

kind of a rough ride, huh Kris?

i think it'd be nice to do away with the relative strength formulas and just have everyone's lifts compared directly against one another ... doesn't seem right for Mr. Rinne to come in second when he totaled nearly 100k more than "first" place

i might be completely on my own in this line of thinking, just a thought though

my reasoning is, since virtualmeet is just for fun, leveling the playing field shouldn't be such a big deal, and personally i think just a straight-up competition of who lifts the mostest would be just as fun as anything else ... another selling point is less hassle involved for the people running it
« Last Edit: June 20, 2007, 11:32:52 pm by kris » Logged
Kristoffer Lindqvist
Staff  [Project Manager, Developer, Moderator, Swedish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 1178 posts
WWW
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2007, 11:15:42 pm »

Brent, I can definitively relate to your point. Big weight is always big weight and thinking about the size of the person lifting it is seldom part of the thought process. Also, many sports work just like that. For example, in shot put the athlete who gets the shot the furthest is the winner, period. The effect, of course, is that the sport favors the heavier athletes and the shorter lighter folks take a back seat. So definitively, dispensing of the relative strength formulas and weight classes could be done. It would be breaking with powerlifting tradition though where various relative strength formulas are generally used to determine who among the weight class winners is the overall winner ("champions of champions").

You may have had the lowest total in this meet, but you were also by far the lightest athlete. Both Mr. Rinne and I am extremely impressed with your weights. Putting it this way, you squatted 1.92 times and pulled 2.23 times your weight (the latter being very close to what Helgi did with his 205kg deadlift). In my book, that ought to account for something! Even I outlifted you in absolute terms, but am I anywhere close to your ratios? Definitively not.

In the end it is a matter of which perspective you choose. Both have their merits. I am heavily in favor of using some sort of mechanism to fairly adjust for gender, bodyweight and age due to a) the aforementioned tradition of doing so in powerlifting, b) the way it gives respect to those lifters who have reached a high level of strength in comparison to their potential, and c) the health signal it sends (prevents bulking up from becoming the easy road to a better result).

I am also in favor of using a relative strength formula over weight classes because it puts everyone on the same stage. This helps build a sense of communality while allowing the creation of unified ranking lists akin to what you might find in tennis or shot put for additional motivation. Formulas also prevent the common issue with competition being stiffer in some classes. On the flip side, weight classes avoid the slippery question of how fair the formula in reality is by segmenting the competition into smaller blocks. But in the end, the formulas are usually broadly in agreement so I tend to think that the bias is reasonable no matter which formula is selected. In that regard, it is interesting to see how you and Mr. Rinne stack up using different formulas. I inputted your totals into my Powerlifting Relative Strength Calculator and got the following results:

Wilks
NAMEGENDERWEIGHTCOEFF.TOTALSCORE% OF WINNERRANK
Månsmale90.8kg
200.18lbs
0.635554450kg
992.07lbs
285.9992100%1
Brentmale67.2kg
148.15lbs
0.773776365.2kg
805.12lbs
282.58398.81%2

Glossbrenner
NAMEGENDERWEIGHTCOEFF.TOTALSCORE% OF WINNERRANK
Brentmale67.2kg
148.15lbs
0.75125365.2kg
805.12lbs
274.3565100%1
Månsmale90.8kg
200.18lbs
0.60895450kg
992.07lbs
274.027599.88%2

Reshel
NAMEGENDERWEIGHTCOEFF.TOTALSCORE% OF WINNERRANK
Brentmale67.2kg
148.15lbs
1.242365.2kg
805.12lbs
453.5784100%1
Månsmale90.8kg
200.18lbs
0.963450kg
992.07lbs
433.3595.54%2

Siff
NAMEGENDERWEIGHTCOEFF.TOTALSCORE% OF WINNERRANK
Månsmale90.8kg
200.18lbs
945.809174450kg
992.07lbs
47.5783100%1
Brentmale67.2kg
148.15lbs
776.818274365.2kg
805.12lbs
47.012398.81%2

Schwartz-Malone
NAMEGENDERWEIGHTCOEFF.TOTALSCORE% OF WINNERRANK
Brentmale67.2kg
148.15lbs
0.7294365.2kg
805.12lbs
587.2545100%1
Månsmale90.8kg
200.18lbs
0.5826450kg
992.07lbs
577.9898.42%2

NASA
NAMEGENDERWEIGHTCOEFF.TOTALSCORE% OF WINNERRANK
Månsmale90.8kg
200.18lbs
1.1295450kg
992.07lbs
5.5977100%1
Brentmale67.2kg
148.15lbs
0.9822365.2kg
805.12lbs
5.337895.36%2

Summary of placings
NAMEWILKSGLOSSBRENNERRESHELSIFFSCHWARTZ-
MALONE
NASAAVERAGE RANK
Brent2112121.5
Måns1221211.5

As you can see, with the exception of Reshel (a formula that behaves very differently from the rest) and NASA, your results are at the classical juncture where the choice of formula means the difference between gold and silver (the difference being on the order of 0.12-1.58% in either's favor). An interesting detail to note is that Siff (which we use to rank individual lifts) would give it to Mr. Rinne contrary to Schwartz-Malone (which we use to rank totals). This is one of the drawbacks of not (in my opinion) being able to achieve a fair comparison using just one formula, but is not a biggie as the difference is razor thin.

I need to provide a more thorough explanation of my choice of formulas, in the meanwhile those interested in the rationale behind the mixing of formulas might find the technical footnote on the rankings page illuminating. Those interested in playing around with relative strength formulas should find the aforementioned online relative strength calculator useful. It also has an introduction to what relative strength is about.

My ultimate goal is to also remove the separation between women and men for a truly unified stage, but my tests indicate that this is easier said than done, especially as there is no good way of comparing squats and deadlifts over the gender divide (Wilks is a good compromise as it has been validated for both the total and the bench, using anything else is just ignoring the skewing it produces).

These questions may well merit more discussion (it is certainly welcome), but this is my current position this issue. But really, I think your point is perfectly valid and boils down to preference.

(EDIT: Polished up the table to prevent scrolling.)
« Last Edit: June 20, 2007, 11:34:25 pm by kris » Logged
Måns Rinne
Staff  [Moderator, Finnish Translator]
 
Finland Finland Male 57 posts
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2007, 10:13:31 am »

Um, yeah. What he said. Grin
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Anything is possible, except maybe skiing through a revolving door.
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