Crossfit DLX - Where style meets sweat. This is a really cool CrossFit Affiliate close to the main backpacker hub in Medellin. I felt like their programme brought both the intensity and consistency to my training which I had been missing. Workouts are varied, fun and well thought out. Classes are very much mixed abilities, but often include heavy weightlifting. It’s a great box to train at whether you are just passing through the city, or you are planning on staying for a bit longer.
Crossfit DLX is a small, boutique box located close the backpacker hub of Parque Lleras in El Poblado. If you’re passing through Medellin for just a few days, it’s likely that you’ll be staying in this area. It’s a well-to-do part of the city, packed with bars, restaurants and coffee shops.
You may not recognise Crossfit DLX as a gym at first. It oozes style, and with its pine decking out front and inviting café, it could look more like a ski chalet than a gym. It’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into the details throughout the box, making it a very pleasant place to workout.
Crossfit DLX reminds me a lot of my box back home when it was starting out. Everyone seems to know each other and genuinely care about their progress. If you plan to train there for a while it’s worth joining the “family” WhatsApp group where the workouts are posted at the start of the weeks and members can chat and share their thoughts on the workouts.
July, the founder/owner and the face of Crossfit DLX, speaks excellent English and will welcome you with open arms. She’s often around ensuring that everyone feels welcomed into the DLX ‘Family’. July clearly loves what she does, and radiates a genuine excitement for CrossFit. She’s also the founder of Unbroken Games, which is one of the biggest competitions in Colombia.
For me, the highlight of my time here was the class programming. The head coach is a CFL2 certified coach and keen to ensure that all of the members benefit from a well thought-out program, not just a selection of workouts. They don’t shy away from more advanced gymnastics in WODs, and work through scaling options in class to ensure that everybody is doing a suitable movement to deliver the desired intention of the workout. I also liked that the program also included some heavier strength sessions.
I trained here for a week and had some of the best workouts that I’ve had in Columbia. The program allowed me to push myself and both the time modalities and weight were varied.
The box itself covers two floors and is fronted with a tall glass window which floods the whole place with natural light. The mezzanine floor boasts Concept2 rower’s, Ski-ergs, Assault bikes, and two GHDs, whilst the gym floor below has a rig, lifting platforms, and high rings. They have showers and changing rooms, as well as a healthy café with a fridge loaded with Kombucha.
Workout of the day
I love the programming a Crossfit DLX and I would have trained here for much longer if I’d been living closer. Despite having only a week, I felt as though the program delivered the consistency and variety that I’d been missing. And this is not just in terms of time modalities and weight, but movements as well.
Each element of the programming had a clear purpose, taking the approach to program for the most advanced, and then scale down for the rest. While I was there, I felt comfortable that the one-hour class was probably enough without excessively supplementing with additional training after the class.
On the Saturday, I did a partner workout which was a lot of fun. I partnered with @guilloocana28, a blind adaptive athlete and I was absolutely blown away by his level of strength and fitness. He was power jerking 80kg as if it was nothing.
The head coach has his CrossFit L2 certification, a rare find in Colombia. July, the owner at Crossfit DLX puts the success of the programming down to that. While I’m sure that the L2 credentials contribute a huge amount, I can’t help but feel that it’s got a lot to do with the passion of the whole team to ensure that everyone that comes to train gets the most out of their experience.
There are a small group of competitors that train between 1pm and 4pm during the period of open gym in the middle of the day before classes start up again for the afternoon. This can mean that rig space is limited during open gym, but there is still plenty of floor space.
How to get to Crossfit DLX
Crossfit DLX is a 20 minute walk up the hill from the backpacker hub of Parque Lleras in El Poblado, and for that reason it probably gets more drop-ins than any other box in Medellin.
What's the area like?
Aside from Crossfit DLX being an excellent place to train, whether you should stay in the area really depends on what you’re looking for from your time here. It’s not going to give you the most authentic experience of Medellin, and won’t help you maximise your sleep, however if you’re a solo traveller looking to meet other travellers then it might be a good fit.
The area around Parque Lleras has a range of international restaurants, cafés, boutique shops, bars, and clubs. It’s a very green area with tall bamboos offering plenty of shade. However, if you are planning on doing your own cooking you’ll probably find yourself doing your shopping in the supermarket as it doesn't have the abundance of smaller fruit and veg shops that you’d see in other areas.
El Poblado is serviced by the Metro, giving easy access to the rest of the city.
When I travel my priorities tend to be two-fold:
A good kitchen.
Comfy and quiet place to sleep and chill.
For this reason I tend to stay in an Airbnb. However, in El Poblado I stayed at Los Patios Suites Hostal, and I was very impressed. Of course, how quiet it is depends on who you are sharing with, and smaller dorms tend to help with that. However, the bed was comfy and they had individual fans, reading lights, and curtains so that I could get an early night sleep without being woken up. It also has a big kitchen with plenty of storage space which was a huge plus. It’s a little bit further away from the gym as it’s about 10 mins walk further down from Parque Lleras, but for that you get a quieter area and you’re 10 minutes closer to the Metro and supermarket for your food shop. It also has a small gym set up on the roof.