Meet The Team


Manuel Buitrago, Ph D.

Co-Director, Ma Strength

  • Honorary Weightlifting Coaching Credential – Chengdu Sports University
  • USA Weightlifting Coach
  • USA Weightlifting Referee

Coach Manuel received his honorary coaching credential in weightlifting from Chengdu Sports University in Sichuan, China. He has been traveling to China since 2003 and furthered his weightlifting knowledge by studying and translating Chinese sports science research articles, manuals, and textbooks on weightlifting written by Chinese sports scientists and coaches. Manuel was mentored by Coach Ma Jianping where he learned Chinese weightlifting technique and training methods. He’s furthered his lifting ability and knowledge by traveling to various training bases in China where he trained with professional Chinese weightlifters.

Coach Manuel has taught Chinese weightlifting technique, theory, and programming in China as well as around the world. His knowledge of Chinese language and culture allows him to bridge language barriers and convey the essence behind Chinese weightlifting methods to Western audiences without changing the content. He has conducted Chinese Weightlifting seminars in Spanish, Portuguese, and is working on Italian translations.  For more information contact Manuel


Ma Jianping

Co-Director, Ma Strength

  • Head Coach, Lindenwood University, 2012-present
  • Head Coach, US World University Championships Team, 2003-2007
  • Head Coach, Seychelles National Team 1992-1994
  • Resident Coach, Chinese Junior Nation Team 1990-1992
  • Olympian, 1984 Los Angeles Games
  • World Silver Medalist
  • 2 time World Bronze Medalist
  • 2 time Masters World Cup Champion

Coach Ma Jianping was coached by one of the founders of the Chinese weightlifting system and was a member of the Chinese National Team from 1978 to 1988 and represented his country in the 69kg class at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.  He also won a silver medal and two bronze medals while competing in four World Championships and World Cups.

Since competing, Ma has been a coach at a variety of levels for over 23 years, beginning as a Provincial coach and rising as National level coach for China’s Junior team. More recently, he was the head coach of the Seychelles (Africa) National Team and the USA World University National Team from 2003 to 2007.  Coach Ma received an undergraduate degree from Anhui University in China in 1989 and received his master’s degree in exercise science from Xi’an Sports University in China in 2007. His lifters include Li Ping, 2005/2007 World Champion and 2010/2011 Asian Games Champion in the women’s 53kg class and 2002 World Silver medalist Sun RuiPing in the women’s 75kg class.

He is now the head coach of Lindenwood University’s weightlifting team where he teaches classes in authentic Chinese  weightlifting and strength & conditioning, and is consistently one of the highest rated instructors by his students.