Meet The Team

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Manuel Buitrago, Ph D.

Co-Director, Ma Strength

  • USA Weightlifting Coach
  • USA Weightlifting Referee

Coach Manuel Buitrago has been a weightlifting coach for eight years and has worked with many athletes in DC/MD/NoVA area from various sports such as football, baseball, basketball, figure skating, tennis, golf, Olympic weightlifting, and CrossFit. His personal best Olympic lifts are 127kg (279lb) snatch and 152kg (334lb) clean & jerk at 80kg (176lb) body weight.

Manuel comes from a gymnastics background and trained under Ivan Abadjiev, the most successful weightlifting coach in history. After his time with Coach Abadjiev, Manuel was mentored by Coach Ma Jianping where he learned Chinese weightlifting technique and training methods. He’s furthered his lifting ability by traveling to various training bases in China where he trained with professional Chinese weightlifters.

As a Chinese language speaker, Manuel 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.

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 currently teaches Chinese weightlifting philosophy and technique privately to athletes in Rockville, MD. He has conducted Chinese Weightlifting seminars in Spanish and Portuguese.  For more information contact Manuel chineseweightlifting@gmail.com

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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

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.