Frequently Asked Questions
What is this site? How does it relate to OpenPowerlifting?
This site is an IPF-specific frontend for the OpenPowerlifting database. The backend is exactly the same as OpenPowerlifting.
What's this site's relationship with the IPF?
OpenIPF is an official collaboration between OpenPowerlifting and the IPF.
OpenPowerlifting is responsible for the content of this website, not the IPF. Although this site is IPF approved, we are not IPF officials and cannot speak on their behalf. The choices we make while developing this website do not imply that each choice carries IPF endorsement. We have pinky-sworn to not do silly things.
Why did you make an IPF-specific frontend?
The main OpenPowerlifting website is difficult to use for IPF lifters due to different rules. Because of that difficulty, not many IPF lifters interacted with our database. That is a problem for us, because we can't be accurate unless lifters are interacting with the database and reporting errors and omissions.
This site is set up so the defaults are what IPF lifters expect. We hope that by doing this, IPF lifters engage more with the data, and IPF affiliates get more motivated to work with us on archiving their results.
How do I send in my meet results?
Wait for the federation to post the official results on their website, and then send us an e-mail with a link. Alternatively, if you are a meet director, have the original spreadsheets, and have reason to believe that the federation will sit on the data for a long time or lose data along the way, you can e-mail us the spreadsheets.
We strongly prefer that results be posted on the federation website, so that they can be crawled by the Internet Archive.
We operate differently from other record-keeping sites: we only track full competitions, not individual records. We do not include personal records independently of the context in which they occurred. The major benefit of doing it this way is that we archive the competition results of everyone who competed in Powerlifting, not just the record-holders.
I had a meet last weekend, why is it not on the site?
Most likely, we're waiting on the federation to post results. For the majority of federations, particularly in the USA, it typically takes up to a month for a federation to post results from one of its meets.
If the federation posted results and they're still not on the site for a while, please send an e-mail. We enter in meets in rough "order of volunteer enthusiasm," but if someone sends us a message that a particular meet is important to them, we'll prioritize that one. Otherwise, we're working through an endless backlog.
How do I add a link to my Instagram?
First, find your name and click on it to see your full meet history. Check for errors, missing competitions, competitions that are not yours, etc.
Next, either message @openpowerlifting on Instagram with your full name, your Instagram, (optional) date of birth (YYYY-MM-DD) or year of birth, best meet total (and the federation that total was achieved in), and lastly include any errors you found in your meet history. You can also send this information in an e-mail to email@example.com if you prefer.
If you know what GitLab is, you can actually tag your Instagram yourself, without asking us at all -- documentation for how to do that is hosted here.
What do colored names mean?
This site has no ads or paywalls -- we are generously funded by donations from the powerlifting community through Patreon. As a way of saying thanks, donators have the option of choosing a custom color for their name.
I competed Raw, why am I marked as Wraps?
You competed in a federation that doesn't distinguish between sleeves and wraps.
If you send us video proof that your squats were not wrapped, we'll change it.
What is "Unlimited"?
Most lifters who compete equipped compete in federations that have common rules that limit equipment with respect to the materials that suits or bench shirts can be made of (stiff fabrics such as polyester, canvas, or denim), how the equipment must be worn, etc. Lifts that are included in our Single-ply and Multi-ply equipment categories should conform to these limitations. The "Unlimited" equipment category, however, includes all personal equipment, regardless of material, or how the equipment is worn or used, etc. For example, the "band shirts" made of rubberised material permitted to be used in the bench press in some federations would fit within our Unlimited category, but not Single-ply or Multi-ply.
Why is my weightclass wrong?
You entered a competition that uses fewer weightclass divisions than normal. For example, the yearly SPF Reebok Record Breakers meet uses three weightclasses for men and two weightclasses for women. The weightclass shown is the one you "entered".
Records and rankings are calculated off bodyweight, not weightclass, so your lifts will still count in the right places.
How does this site work? Do you just download results from the federations?
Hopefully in the future that will be possible, but right now that isn't possible, because the majority of federations are operating with extremely old and bad technology: PDF files instead of databases.
The status page shows how many meets are in our database. Every one of these meets was downloaded and entered by hand. As you can imagine, this takes a tremendous amount of time and energy. On average, meets that are posted as PDFs take about 20 minutes to enter, and meets that are posted as spreadsheets take between 5 minutes to an hour to enter, usually depending on how Russian the source federation is. For some federations, we wrote programs that slightly simplify the process, but still require manual review.
We strongly encourage federations to stop using PDF. Although PDFs look like spreadsheets to humans, to a computer they are functionally equivalent to JPG files, and converting them back to spreadsheets is extremely error-prone. Instead, we suggest hosting meet results as HTML.
The one cool thing we do have is automated detection of meets -- for many federations, we've written Web scrapers that automatically let us know when new results are available. Although we still have to enter them by hand, at least we don't have to go looking for them.
How many people are behind this site?
We are currently a team of about eight powerlifters.
The success of the project relies on contributions from powerlifters around the world. If you would like to get involved and help support the project, you can join our team chat on Zulip to learn more about how you can contribute. There are many ways to get involved, such as by submitting results from powerlifting meets or volunteering your time to help respond to special requests. You can also support us by sharing information about the project with your friends. That helps a ton.
Why is this site free? (With the subtext of: What's the ruse here?)
We're powerlifters, and powerlifting badly needed someone to organize its results. It's our hope that by giving away all our data for free, you will be more motivated to support the project by sending in corrections and telling other lifters about us. We want as many people actively using our data as possible, so that they can send in corrections of their own, which will cause us to have extremely accurate historical data. We want you to really feel that we're working for your benefit.
To make sure that this site remains free, we release all of our data into the public domain, and all of our code under the AGPLv3+ license. You can download our entire database right now from the Data page -- in fact, you really should! That prevents us from ever making the data private, because if we did so, you could easily create a new, free website with better data. It's our hope that this model keeps powerlifting data in the public domain forever.
Basically, we're Powerlifting librarians and archivists, and don't charge for this site for the same reason that librarians don't charge you to read one of their books.
Don't you need money to operate a website?
Yes. We are fortunate enough to be able to operate solely off of donations. We use Patreon because the monthly model allows us to have predictable income for monthly expenses, and because it allows our full financial situation to be public.
This project does not operate at a loss -- your donations are all that we have to work with.
You will notice that there are no advertisements on this site: entities have asked to place banner ads, but we have stubbornly refused. This is because advertisements would cause us to optimize for metrics that harm you as a user: time-on-site, cost-per-click, etc. Sites with ads are incentivized to become time-sucking black holes. We'd rather just be inclined to treat you well.
Why does my age have a ~ next to it?
It means that your age is approximate. This can happen if the federation that organized the meet did not provide enough information for us to determine an exact age. When that happens, an approximated age can sometimes be displayed based on other available information.
If your displayed age is incorrect, you can contact the OpenPowerlifting team through our issue tracker and request that it be corrected. We will do our best to update the database with the correct information as soon as possible.