Saturday, February 21, 2015

Real-Life Power Levels

In my years surfing the web for random Dragon Ball Z information, I've seen a more than a few websites attempting to calculate power levels for people. Heck, I even tried to use similar methodologies when I was in middle school. Unfortunately, I (like all the people I saw online) lacked the necessary knowledge about human performance to effectively create a Power Level Calculation.

As a grown man, being involved in fitness for 15 years or so, I now possess the knowledge necessary to create such a calculation.

Now you may ask yourself, "Stephen, is it really necessary to create a calculation to determine someone's power level? I mean isn't that a little nerdy?"

The answer to both of those questions is "Abso-friggin-lutely!"

"What does the scouter say about your power level?"

Most of the calculations of power level I've seen deal with height, weight, and age as the primary factors of the calculation, with Bench Press 1RM or speed of running 1 mile as a secondary factor. That is just far too few inputs and the inclusion of height, weight, and age really do nothing to determine what someone's level of strength or endurance is-- we need their feats of strength and endurance in order to create such a calculation. Height, weight, and age may affect any one of these feats, so they do play a part, but are not necessary in the calculation. Therefore, this calculation will not concern itself with height, weight, or age.

Also, this Power Level Calculation is not one's ability to fight. Fighting skill would be measured be something altogether, like ranks or, preferably, a fight record. This is really a representation, as a whole, of someone's overall physical performance. Now, someone with a higher power level may have more of an advantage in a fight, but there are certainly times when physically more impressive opponents are taken down by more skilled fighters.

First, let's start with your performance stats. 
  1. Bench Press Max (in pounds)
  2. Back Squat Max (in pounds)
  3. Deadlift Max (in pounds)
  4. Overhead Press Max (in pounds)
  5. Weighted Pull-up Max (in pounds)
  6. Max Reps Push-ups (2 min, rest in plank)
  7. Max Reps Sit-ups (2 min)
  8. Max Reps Squats (2 min)
  9. Max Reps Pull-ups/Chin-ups x 3= Pull-up Score (2 min, no drop)
  10. Vertical Leap (in inches)
  11. (15 seconds minus 100 Meter Time in Seconds) x 100= Sprint Score (Sub 25m Swim w/ 18 seconds as time)
  12. 600 seconds minus 1 Mile Time in Seconds= Run Score (Sub 400m Swim w/ 720 seconds)
  13. (6000 seconds minus 10 Mile Time in Seconds)/10 = Distance Score (Sub 4000m Swim w/ 7200 seconds)
  14. (80 seconds minus 300 Yard Shuttle Run Time in Seconds) x 10 = Anaerobic Endurance Score
  15. (10 seconds minus 10 Meter Agility Shuttle in Seconds) x 10= Agility Score
  16. Long Distance Score= +10 points for every mile you can run beyond 10 miles- example: 26 mile run completed would be +160 points (+10 points for every 500m swam beyond 4000m)


  • Add all of this information together. If you do not have this information or cannot perform the movements, make sure to put a 0 into the calculation. When you have your total, divide that number by 100 to get your final score.
  • Warm-up properly before testing any of these exercises. For weight lifting, do some light cardio for 5 or so minutes, then do a few light reps of the exercise to get used to the movement, and finally progress with a moderate set of 5, a slightly higher set of 3, then progressives sets of one until you find your max. 
  • Your bench press should touch your chest at the bottom and lock out at the top. 
  • Your squat should end with at least the tops of your thighs parallel with the ground. 
  • Your deadlift should start from the ground, bar at mid-shin and end in a lockout position at the top, hips fully extended and your back straight. 
  • Overhead press should begin with the bar touching your chest and end with the bar locked out overhead, with your head in the middle of your arms. 
  • The pull-up must start from a fully hanging position and end with at least your chin going over the bar. 
  • The weighted pull-up score is your total weight, meaning your bodyweight plus whatever weight you have added, in pounds.
  • You may rest in the top of the push-up position, but you may not break posture with hips up or down.
  • For the sit-ups, your hands must be crossed on your chest or touching your ears and you must raise your torso until your body in perpendicular with the floor. 
  • You may not kip or swing on your pull-ups to help you complete the repetitions. 
  • You may need a partner to clock you on the sprint and shuttle runs. 
  • Vertical Leap
  • 300 Yard Shuttle Run
  • 10 Meter Agility Shuttle
  • The long-distance run must be non-stop to count. If you have to stop to walk, it does not count. If you have to refuel during the run, that's fine, just make sure you don't stop. 
  • You do not have to test all of these in one go. You can just keep a rolling count of all your PRs and update your Power Level accordingly. 
  • The division by 100 is to give you a sense of what your power level would be in the world of Dragon Ball. However, either number still represents the same thing. 

Calculate your power levels and share with your friends! So... what is your power level?
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