Why is there an application for the weightlifting camp? Any advice on maximizing my chances?
We are looking to create a supportive group that enhances the training experience of everyone involved (including the Chinese athletes). The best way to maximize your chances is to fill out the application truthfully and sincerely.
When will I hear back about my status? Can you let me know about my status?
We try to respond within a few days depending on the volume of the applications but it could take up to a week. Please DO NOT email about your status until after this time.
I attended a Ma Strength camp or seminar in the past, do I still have to apply?
Yes. We need to update your lifting ability, passport #, etc.
I don’t have public weightlifting videos, what do I do?
Send your videos privately via Instagram to @mastrength We pair participants according to their strength levels and technical issues so that training can go more smoothly.
Do I need a certain weightlifting ability to attend?
No, we use your numbers to pair you with participants who are close to you so that the training can go smoothly and simulate actual Chinese training. It will help if you have the mobility to perform a stable overhead squat and front squat and already train regularly.
Do I need to stay the whole 2 weeks of the weightlifting camp?
No. If you need to shorten your stay, please note that in the application form. Based on your needs, the costs of the camp may change but we will give preference for individuals who can stay the entire trip.
Can I come earlier or stay longer?
If you arrive earlier or leave later then you must secure your own accommodations and possibly transport to the airport or train station. Additionally, note that you cannot train in the training halls before or after the camp.
What happens if the weightlifting camp is full?
We will create a waiting list and contact you if there’s an opening. You can also apply for the next weightlifting camp.
Can I contact someone about their experience prior to attending?
Yes, please contact us for a list of references. You can also search #mastrength #mastrengthcamp to find posts by prior participants.
I want to shadow the coaches, is this an option?
Yes. Please designate that in your application. The fees and deadlines are the same as if you were to participate as a lifter.
I got hurt before the weightlifting camp and can’t participate due to injury, what do I do?
You can shadow the coaches and observe the weight training. Individuals find it provides a unique experience into the Chinese weightlifting system.
My plans changed, is my deposit refundable/transferable?
No, deposits reserve your space for the camp designated on your application. You can transfer your spot to a friend, but you cannot transfer your spot to a future weightlifting camp.
Are my other payments refundable/transferable?
Payments other than the deposit are refundable until the deadline designated on the camp page. We cannot transfer payments to another camp.
How do I obtain a visa for the weightlifting camp?
We will provide paperwork to assist your visa application. Afterwards you can apply for a visa by:
Booking with your local travel agent.
Applying individually via the Chinese embassy for your country.
Ideally you should have a non-expired passport prior to applying for the weightlifting camp. If not, we recommend applying for a passport and request expedited service so you can apply for a visa.
If you do not obtain a visa in a timely manner, you will forfeit your place in the camp without refund.
What should I bring with me?
You should bring your training gear, enough training clothes to last the trip, some non-lifting clothing for outings, walking/running shoes, and personal toiletries.
What kind of plugs are used in China?
China uses Type-A plugs, so make sure you purchase a plug-in converter to charge any laptops, hair dryers, etc.
Can I bring supplements and/or medications?
Protein powder/bars, vitamins, minerals, and liniments are fine. If you are taking any medications, please make sure to secure any prescriptions or notes you may need prior to your departure just in case you are questioned by airport security.
How much money should I bring with me?
We recommend at least $300 for extra outings and meals off base. Bring more if you plan on buying many souvenirs. You can preorder Chinese weightlifting gear (i.e. straps, wraps, knee sleeves, apparel, etc.).
When should I convert my money?
We strongly recommend that you do so either at your bank, home airport, or first international airport in China. Sometimes ATMs might be hard to come by and your credit/debit cards might be rejected unless you inform your bank prior to coming to China.
Staying in China
I don’t speak Chinese, is that a problem? I am not fluent in English, is that a problem?
No problem! The coaches use a variety of communication techniques. We also translate from Chinese to English/Spanish/Portuguese. You can always bring a friend if you don’t speak any of these languages!
I have never been outside of my country. What is Chinese culture like?
Chinese culture is probably very different from your own. Check out this cultural comparison between Chinese and western thought. Also, check out the top areas of culture shock in China.
Remember that we are guests and that your behavior will be reflective of our group to our hosts. Most of the time, the hosts will not directly confront you with any problems but rather bring it to our attention.
So, we recommend you respect authority, go with the flow of things, and ask questions if you are unsure.
What’s the food like?
In the cafeteria it is only local Chinese food and will be different than your normal Chinese take-out food. All meals are buffet-style consisting of several proteins, vegetables, rice, bread, and noodles to choose from.
Outside of the cafeteria, there are many Chinese restaurants and maybe some western restaurants or coffee shops.
What if I follow a special diet?
We cannot guarantee any special dietary requests so you should consider that before applying for the camp.
Also, China is a tea-drinking culture so coffee availability is poor or lacking so you might want to bring some instant coffee with you. In fact, if there is something you absolutely must have, then bring it.
Is laundry service available?
Usually yes, either in the form of public washing machines or a paid washing service. In Chinese culture, underwear must be washed on your own, usually in your bathroom sink.
Dryers are not popular, so most people air dry their clothes. Sometimes soap is available at public washing machines, but it can be easily purchased at a convenience store on or off the base.
What’s the weather like at the summer/winter camp?
You can google the weather as the date gets closer but for a general overview, check out China weather and enter the city name in the search term if it is not on the list.
Will someone pick me up from/to the airport?
Yes, we will organize a meeting time to shuttle from the airport.
If you arrive before the camp starts or leave after the camp ends, then your transportation is on your own.
Is there Wi-Fi? Can I access social media, email, etc?
Wi-Fi service can be slow and limited. Housing and dining areas usually have faster and more reliable Wi-Fi but you might not have a signal in the gym or off base.
Keep in mind that Facebook, Instagram, google (along with its apps like gmail) are blocked in China. We strongly recommend that you either get a VPN for your phone BEFORE you arrive in China or use alternative apps like a backup email address.
How many weight training sessions are there?
We follow the training of our host base closely but usually around 9 sessions per week. So some days will have double sessions while others will have single sessions. We will add technical sessions and conditioning sessions based on the characteristics of our group.
Can you send me the training program in advance?
No. We consult with the base about their training as well as take into account the characteristics of our group. Additionally, our coaches have discretion to modify the program to help you progress better.
What happens when I’m not training?
We coordinate seminars throughout the camp with guest speakers and experts on various topics in Chinese weightlifting. Outside of that, we usually rest or eat. Sometimes people will go shopping if it is convenient to do so.
Is there any chance for site-seeing during the weightlifting camp?
Yes, on Sundays we will coordinate some outings to popular tourist attractions or city center. These outings are NOT mandatory and not included in the camp fee. Please let us know if you do NOT want to go since we need to coordinate transportation, restaurant reservations, etc.
Will I meet my weightlifting idols?
In the past we have been able to coordinate appearances by current or past weightlifting champions. We have also trained alongside national, international, and Olympic level champions; however we cannot guarantee you will meet your idols.