BIPs Explainer | What’s behind Brawn’s unique powerlifting algorithm?

Powerlifting is an diverse and inclusive sport, welcoming all lifters to the community regardless of ability, weight or gender.


Whether you’re performing squats, bench press or deadlift, these lifts are used across a variety of different sports and particularly by those who commit to strength training as part of their own sporting discipline.


What connects us all is the desire to push the body to greater “limits”. There’s a hunger among lifters to continually improve performance and to better ourselves and our previous efforts.


However, while the powerlifting community shares common ideals across the board, the sport has before now catered to the individual and not the collective. At Brawn, we’re motivated to change this by connecting the global lifting community.


In order to achieve our goal, we’re developing sophisticated mobile technology which aims to turn powerlifting into a more accessible sport. Within the Brawn app, we invite lifters from all around the world to record their progress and to draw inspiration from their peers.


Maximising intensity

What this also presents is a platform for virtual competition on a global scale. As lifters turn to our service, they are able to pit themselves against some of the most well known lifters on the planet. The sport of powerlifting is all inclusive regardless of weight or gender, for this reason we have created a unique way for all lifters to compare and compete alongside each other.


This is where Brawn Intensity Points come into play. More commonly known as BIPs, our algorithm gives lifters the chance to compete globally against other lifters and to benchmark their personal goals according to four simple metrics.


When downloading the Brawn app, users have the option to record their own BIPs score which, when merged together, calculates the intensity of an individual lift. These include: body weight, sex, the number of reps and sets performed, and overall weight-on-bar.


In turn, this creates an accurate BIPs score for each individual athlete and, whether we’re lifting at our local gym, at home, or in a certified competition, it means that anyone and everyone can measure their own ability against the wider Brawn community in a fair and inclusive environment.


Thor vs Jen

To give you an example of BIPs in action, and how it unifies lifters from across different sporting backgrounds, we pulled together the scores for two of the strongest lifters of all time – Strongman Thor Bjornsson and powerlifter Jen Thompson.


While notably different in size and weight (Jen weighs close to 60kg while Thor is somewhere in the region of 197kg), when measured using Brawn’s algorithm, we can show that Jen scores a much higher BIPs score compared to Thor when completing a single-rep bench press.


Toe-to-toe, there’s no doubt that Thor can lift much more weight than Jen. Their physiology determines their output, with Thor pushing 250kg on a single rep versus Jen’s 142kg. However, taking all factors into consideration, Thor scores 194 BIPs whereas Jen scores a mammoth 240 BIPs.

What’s important to consider is that, in order to compare and contrast competitors, just as boxing categorises fighters by weight, BIPs aims to find the best pound-for-pound lifters in the world and is the key ingredient behind Brawn’s inclusive platform.


By creating algorithm that compares lifters across multiple categories, Brawn is shifting the way in which people look at lifting – rather than a sport exclusive to the biggest and burliest athletes out there, BIPs offers lifters of any sex, size, and strength a platform to be the best that they can be and creates an even playing field for everyone.


Sign up to Brawn

It is easy to get involved and Brawn is geared towards lifters at all levels. Simply download the Brawn app via the App Store or Google Play and enter your training data to find out your own BIPs score and secure your place on the official Brawn leaderboard.


There’s also options to upload videos of your personal lifts, take editorial advice and insights from fellow lifters to inform your own personal goals and training plan, as well as information on latest virtual events in powerlifting and how you can join in on global competitions.


Keep lifting.

The Brawn community team.