Here to connect the powerlifting community | Brawn CEO Sohail Rashid
Before we brought Brawn into existence, like many of my peers in the sport, powerlifting was a personal passion of mine – something to focus on and to keep my mind and body ticking over.
As powerlifters go, I was a late arrival. I had only just found the sport at the age of 30, shortly after the birth of my first son. What it presented was a corner of the world that I could call my own – a solitary space to unplug and push my boundaries.
As the years passed by and my children have grown older, powerlifting has become something more. I wanted to be a part of a movement that I could be proud of and could eventually inspire my family, too – a hobby that has both given me the chance to meet new friends on the gym floor and allows me to lead by example at home.
In March 2020, when the world shut down and people had to isolate to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus, we took the opportunity to turn a passion into something tangible that would allow people to share the lifting experience and stay connected with their community.
Alongside my friend and co-founder Andy Smith, we put the wheels in motion to launch what has become the largest community mobile app dedicated to lifting, and the first of its kind to enable people to measure, share and compare their own performance on the barbell with other lifters.
It’s been described as the “Strava for strength” – which allows lifters of all levels and abilities to connect with other powerlifters around the world and, whether you are a recreational or competitive lifter, to find motivation from a community of barbell enthusiasts.
Powerlifting has become an intrinsic part of my life and a constant go-to whenever I want a little me-time.
Just as other virtual community sporting platforms such as Zwift and Peloton engage virtual audiences in cycling and running, we see a massive opportunity to connect the lifting community. Bringing about our unique Brawn Intensity Points (BIPs) system, the Brawn app allows users to pit themselves against other lifters whatever their level and provides a platform to measure their progress against the best in the business.
We believe there are between 30-35 million people around the world who practice various versions of barbell movements on a regular basis and are actively measuring their progress through strength and conditioning. It doesn’t matter how you describe yourself, whether a casual gym-goer, a CrossFit enthusiast, or an Olympic or Paralympic athlete, if you partake in a barbell movement, there’s an opportunity for Brawn to connect you with others, analyse your performance, and improve your lifting.
This, in of itself, is a movement. With the power of digital communications and the role mobile is playing in connecting global communities, we have the chance to connect a movement of people who, like our team here at Brawn, have a passion for barbell lifting and to give them the tools to find inspiration in likeminded lifters pushing the limits of their body.
This has also inspired us to launch powerlifting’s first global virtual events later this year (29 November to 12 December ), which will see lifters of all abilities globally compete for prizes from leading brands in strength training.
We are working hard to deliver an event that not only celebrates the biggest lifts in the world, but also inspires new lifters to take their involvement in the sport to the next level, with no experience necessary to compete.. There is more information available via our virtual events page.
Powerlifting has become an intrinsic part of my life and a constant go-to whenever I want a little me-time. The sport has helped me develop and refine my body to my own specification and, with the view that I can always improve my performance, powerlifting has given me a point of focus that translates into other areas of my life.
I owe a lot to the sport of powerlifting and want people to experience the same feeling of fulfilment we at Brawn get from lifting; to strive towards a personal best but also leverage the sport to focus on your own mental wellbeing and to help achieve personal goals.
Since joining our community of lifters, whether in competition, on the gym floor, or via the Brawn app, I’ve made friends where I wouldn’t have before. We want others to enjoy the sport in exactly the same way and help them become the best versions of themselves they can be.
CEO and co-founder, Brawn