Top Olympic Weightlifting Tips from German Athlete Max Lang

Basic info: Max Lang

  • Date of Birth: 06.12.1992
  • City of Birth: Calw
  • Height: 166cm
  • Bodyweight: 78Kg
  • Profession: Soldier
  • Club: Chemnitzer AC
  • Weightclass: -77Kg

Hey Max, so lets start with your current Snatch and Clean and Jerk PR?

Snatch 153 kg

Clean and Jerk 190 kg

How did you get into weightlifting in the first place?

To be honest, I never had any contact with weightlifting before I started doing this sport. Before, I played soccer in a bigger club in Germany and went to a ‘sports school’. But they kicked me out because of too many injuries. So in order to stay in the ‘sports school’ I decided to change to weightlifting. That was the start of my weightlifting career.

As a professional weightlifter, what does a typical training week look like for you? How does this vary to prepare for competitions?

A typical training week consists of about 8 Sessions: Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 2 per day respectively. Tuesday and Saturday consist of one training session each. Each session takes about 2 to 3 hours. The morning sessions are the preparation for the second session on that day.

In competition weeks we need a lot of rest, so we lower our sessions to 4 per week to be totally recovered for the competition.

What accessory exercises work well for you, and you would recommend as essential to other athletes wanting to improve their lifting?

The basis for weightlifting is a lot of squats and pulls to improve one’s strength. In addition, exercises that protect your body from injuries are essential, especially for your shoulders, knees and back.

Important exercises for athletes who want to improve their lifting are muscle snatches and snatch balance for the snatch. For clean and jerk the exercises are hang cleans, push presses and jerks from blocks.

How do you program basic strength work such as squat variations, deadlifts etc into your training?

Basic strength work is very useful especially in the beginning of a new preparation period. In addition, I also use machines for training purposes. Instead of deadlifts, I do snatch- or clean pulls with heavy weights until the hips. It does not really matter what exercise you do, but they must be new to your muscles.

Max Lang Split JerkSource: Max Lang
Max competing

How do you improve speed under the bar in the Snatch?

That’s not easy to say, because I started with this sport nearly 10 years ago. It seems to have improved throughout the years and I more or less do it without thinking about it.

Good exercises for an improvement could be snatch balances and snatches from the block, because you have to be fast to have a good lift.

5 training tips to improve your Snatch technique

Olympic Weightlifting is obviously an incredibly technical sport, how do you stay focused on the small details, especially with once the weights get heavy for you?

That’s simple! When doing the snatch, you have your starting position: first pull, second pull and the transition. Most athletes see two steps, pulling and standing up. But I try to work step by step in every training session and after a while you will do this automatically. So in my mind, I run the course of the motions and the steps that I have to focus on. For me these are the starting position and the second pull.

Do you have any mental tactics for staying focused and lifting well during competitions?

I always look for a chair, sit down, put a towel over my head and try to cool down for a moment and focus again.

Max Lang RestingSource: Max Lang
Calm, determined and mentally on point

What do you think about the way that Crossfit workouts incorporate Olympic Weightlifting exercises?

The idea is very good! Weightlifting is perfect to improve one’s strength and you work on a lot of muscles and muscle groups. The problem is that Crossfit is dependent on time… so a lot of athletes forget to do the exercises properly and with good technique. When these athletes lift heavy weights with bad technique, that can be bad for their health and bodies later on.

Have you ever tried a Crossfit workout before?

Yes! My first WOD was „FRAN“, three years ago and it was tough. A new experience for me. Every part of my body was in pain after the WOD, but it was nice.

What advice would you give to Crossfitters in order to stay safe with their lifting at such high intensity?

I would say that especially in the training sessions where they only lift, one has to train with a lot of patience. Being hasty is not going to get you anywhere. The technique must be clean and well-performed, even more so when all of this takes place in high intensity. You also have to be extremely concentrated for every lift.

Max Lang Clean JerkSource: Max Lang
Focus is vital

You lifted at the recent German Throwdown, how did you find the experience? How have these two sports had an impact on each other in your opinion?

The German Throwdown was awesome! A lot of people visited the hall and made a lot of noise! I was able to meet a lot of athletes and had some nice conversations. I really enjoyed it and had a lot of fun.

The Crossfit athletes were able to improve their weightlifting skills with our help. Some of them actually started to lift for weightlifting clubs to get better. People started to be interested in weightlifting through Crossfit. So it’s a win-win situation for both sides.


What was your opinion of the various medal disqualifications due to doping and the scandal involving the Russian team at the Olympics?

I mean the Olympic idea is to do have a fair and clean competition. If there are athletes who sabotage this idea, the only logical consequence is to disqualify them. It is simply unfair and disrespectful to all the athletes who follow the rules.

What steps should be taken to provide a positive, drug free structure in International Olympic Weightlifting?

A step could be to make sure that every doping test is safe. Independent inspectors and labs. I also think that every coach or official who ever coached a positive-tested athlete or ever was positive himself, should be banned.


How much time do you dedicate to improving your flexibility, and how much of an impact does this have on your lifting?

Not enough. Flexibility is a very important part of weightlifting. I would say you have to do special sessions only on flexibility. More flexibility reduces the risk of injury, you will get a higher range of motion and more strength. And more strength is really the big goal.

Max Lang Weightlifting CompetitionSource: Max Lang
Flexibility is a hugely important part of Weightlifting

Any tips for improving shoulder mobility and strength?

Banded distraction and loaded stretches. And you can also follow me on Instagram and take a look at my YouTube channel. We do a lot of mobility exercises in cooperation with my friends of „Tools for Success“

Do you have any long-term goals for your weightlifting career?

Sure! To stay healthy and never to lose the fun in weightlifting!

What do you like to do when you get a well-earned day off?

I am usually very tired after all the previous sessions. So I like to chill, listen to music and have a nice dinner.

Thanks Max, best of luck for the future

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