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Title: Male powerlifting performance described from the viewpoint of complex systems
Authors: García Manso, Juan Manuel 
Martín-González, J. M. 
Da Silva-Grigoletto, M. E.
Vaamonde, D.
Benito, P.
Calderón, J.
UNESCO Clasification: 22 Física
Keywords: Powerlifting
Complex systems
Power law
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: 0022-5193
Journal: Journal of Theoretical Biology 
Abstract: This paper reflects on the factors that condition performance in powerlifting and proposes that the result-generating process is inadequately described by the allometric equations commonly used. We analysed the scores of 1812 lifters belonging to all body mass categories, and analysed the changes in the results achieved in each weight category and by each competitor. Current performance-predicting methods take into account biological variables, paying no heed to other competition features. Performance in male powerlifting (as in other strength sports) behaves as a self-organised system with non-linear interactions between its components. Thus, multiple internal and external elements must condition changes in a competitor's score, the most important being body mass, body size, the number of practitioners, and the concurrency of favourable factors in one individual. It was observed that each behaved in a specific form in the high level, according to the individuals’ circumstances, which make up the main elements of the competitive system in every category. In powerlifting, official weight categories are generally organised in three different groups: light (<52.0 to <60 kg), medium (<67.5 to <90.0 kg) and heavy (<100 to >125 kg) lifter categories, each one of them with specific allometric exponents. The exponent should be revised periodically, especially with regard to the internal dynamics of the category, and adjusted according to possible changes affecting competition.
ISSN: 0022-5193
DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2007.12.010
Source: Journal of Theoretical Biology [ISSN 0022-5193], v. 251, p. 498-508
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