The Wilks calculator allows you to estimate your weightlifting abilities and compare yourself with other lifters, regardless of their body weight or sex. Unlike the bench press calculator, it is not generally used to track your progress, but to decide on which weight lifter is better (even though they compete in different divisions). Read on to learn what is the Wilks formula and how to apply it correctly.
What is the Wilks coefficient?
The Wilks coefficient was introduced to make it possible to compare strengths of powerlifters despite their different capabilities resulting from body structure. During competitions, weightlifters are divided into categories according to their body weight and sex. The Wilks coefficient allows for comparison of the lifters across all categories.
The formula was derived by Robert Wilks, CEO of Powerlifting Australia.
The Wilks formula
There is one universal formula that can be applied to all weightlifters, both male and female. The only thing that is different are the coefficients used in the equation.
The Wilks formula is:
Wilks coefficient = W * 500 / (a + bx² +cx³ +dx⁴ +ex⁵ +fx⁶)
where W is the maximum weight lifted (in kilograms), x is the body weight of the lifter, and letters a to f denote coefficients.
Coefficients for men are:
a = -216.0475144
b = 16.2606339
c = -0.002388645
d = -0.00113732
e = 7.01863E-06
f = -1.291E-08
Coefficients for women are:
a = 594.31747775582
b = -27.23842536447
c = 0.82112226871
d = -0.00930733913
e = 4.731582E-05
f = -9.054E-08
How to use the Wilks calculator?
Let's say you want to compare the weightlifting capabilities of two different weightlifters. The first one is a female champion who weighs 48 kg and competes in the lowest body weight division. The second is a man who weighs 107 kg and competes in the highest body weight division.
- Find out what the female lifter's personal record was. Let's say it was 94 kg.
- Find out what the male lifter's personal record was. Let's say it was 208 kg.
- Calculate the Wilks coefficient for the female lifter, using our Wilks calculator. You will be left with the result of 124.5.
- repeat the above step for the male lifter. You will obtain 123.5 as a result.
- Surprisingly, the female weightlifter has scored higher. That means that even though she can lift less kilograms, she is objectively better than the male lifter.
If you're interested in weightlifting, make sure to check out the lean body mass calculator as well!