Turning data into progress | How statistics inform Brawn’s powerlifting experience

Behind any sporting experience, statistics are used to inform the physical performance. This is not only true for the individual athlete and is not only beneficial to the coaching team putting them through their paces.

Performance data also supports the viewing experience for the fan watching from home – to glean a more granular insight into how a contest is shaping up, who’s performing well, and sets a benchmark for what high performance looks like.

Powerlifting by its very nature is driven by these incremental gains. Statistical performance data is a vital asset to the lifter’s arsenal and showing where and how they can make necessary improvements.

Utilising Statistics in Powerlifting

Although an individual pursuit, powerlifting can be ultra-competitive and knowing how you and your competitor is performing and how the body endures extreme weight, these are all ingredients of elite powerlifting – to squeeze every ounce out of one’s potential.

Just as statistics are informing the sporting experience for the average fan, performance data isn’t only for the elite few anymore and can be utilised in much the same way for the recreational lifter at the local gym who has the desire to continue to improve their own performance.

With greater focus on physical and mental health of our local communities, and the onus that public health officials now place on sporting activity, sports science is also proving to be important to the wellbeing of the wider population beyond elite competition.

That’s why more sports and fitness apps such as a Brawn’s are growing in popularity among the general public, of whom many are not dedicated weightlifters either, but want to use data to show how the different barbell movements can improve their general fitness.

It doesn’t matter what sport we aspire to be a part of – or what level we want to achieve – participation in an activity first requires a pre-existing motivation.

Tracking Personal Performance

With access to personal performance data via an easy-to-use app, subscribers are both able to find meaning in the activities they pursue and adapt their training to achieve their desired personal goals.

As we move into a new generation of communication, the benefits of performance data are widely recognised by the governing bodies and how they shape the sporting landscape. If we take powerlifting as an example, by endorsing Brawn’s statistical-based performance app, the IPF helps to promote the sport to a greater number of people from different sporting backgrounds and is set to host its very first virtual competition this year as a result.

What this also tells us is that, while digital platforms are providing additional avenues for sport’s governors to increase participation, the use of statistics in this way provides a powerful metric for sustaining interest in their sport thereafter – to first spark the motivation within an individual to push themselves just as the elites do, and to then give them the fuel to help keep that fire burning.

In turn, this creates a deeper level of engagement in the sport over an extended period of time. In the case of powerlifting specifically, by providing the individual lifter with the data and resources to shape their own goals, we are also promoting a more inclusive sport that connects lifters of all degrees of ability.

The Conclusion on Statistics

While powerlifting was previously perceived to be a sport for the strongest people on the planet, being a powerful lifter is relative and very much a subjective experience.

By using statistics in the same way that other sports seek to inform and entertain peripheral fans, performance data gives amateur lifters a sense of belonging to the sport – whatever their shape, size, or weight – and a level of insight into their own performance that very few have had access to in years gone by.

And this informs an important feature within the Brawn experience. With the basic understanding that each lifter’s ability is unique to their own physical attributes, this philosophy gave birth to our Brawn Intensity Points (BIPS) algorithm, which measures each lifter’s power output based on their sex, bodyweight, and the weight lifted.

By utilising personal statistics in this fashion, Brawn is working to build a more equitable sport, whereby someone of a slighter build can compare their power output against someone of greater body mass and draw a clear and detailed analysis of their performance based on their own personal metrics.

Therefore, statistical data used in the right way can encourage high performance across a larger community of lifters and help remove the trope that powerlifting is exclusive to the heaviest lifters. “Brawn” by definition means “physical strength”, an attribute that’s personal to us all, and can be measured and improved upon with the use of performance data, whatever our goals may be.


Keep lifting.

The Brawn Community Team