Faster Crossfit, located at the southern end of Sabaneta, has the feel of an OG box with an authentic Colombian twist. They have sent athletes to the regionals on teams, which is reflected in the quality of some of the athletes and coaches. However, as is common theme in many boxes in Colombia, the level in the classes tends to be relatively low.
If you are however looking to train outside of classes, this could be a great option. Faster Crossfit have a four hour slot in the middle of the day where the gym is open to be used for your own programming before the afternoon classes start. I was only four days into training here when I was welcomed to join some of the others in their workouts.
If you’re in the area for a while and see the appeal of integrating with a Colombian Crossfit community, I would definitely consider training here. If you are newer to Crossfit, the classes will be great for you, but unless you were already planning to stay in Sabaneta you may not want to travel this far South.
The more I trained here, the less I wanted to move on. As a box, it certainly grows on you. This is largely down to the community of athletes. I'm an average crossfitter with, and they made me feel very welcome early on by asking if I wanted to join in with some of the more advanced program during the middle of the day. If your Spanish is good, you'll slip right in, but if it's non existent like mine was at this point in my trip, there are still plenty of friendly faces who speak some English.
The classes are small and run hourly with a 4 hour gap in the middle of the day for open gym. Most of the classes are very small. 7am is the busiest morning class which might have up to 15 members, but the less-busy times can get very quiet. The level of the classes tends to be quite basic and may include more body weight movements than you’re used to, but the program still gives you opportunity to push yourself.
Faster Crossfit was the original affiliate in the area, and as such it has that OG feel. It's a big, tall space with four long ropes hanging from the ceiling. The rig is up one end, leaving plenty of floor space for throwing a barbell up or doing a Metcon. At the point of writing they have 3 Rowers, 1 Airbike, 4 Sets of high rings, a good range of kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells and everything else that you would expect.
If you have never done Crossfit before, and don’t speak Spanish, it's worth checking beforehand that your coach speaks English. Ericka, one of the owners, is lovely and a fluent english speaker, and will be happy to help you out. In addition, if you’re interested in mixing it up a bit, they also do Kickboxing classes that are included in the membership.
Workout of the day
The class programming at Faster Crossfit is well-rounded with a good proportion time spent developing skills as a class. The hands-on/group approach to the development of key skills makes the class programm ideal for beginners to intermediates looking to continue developing. However, the skill progressions may not be adapted into more advanced alternatives for stronger or experience athletes.
For example, as the class were focussing on strict pull up progressions, it could have been an idea to give the option of weighted pull ups, as opposed to working on the same eccentric and isometric holds with with just body weight.
That being said, Faster Crossfit also spend a good amount of their program on developing the Olympic Lifts. I found that they allowed plenty of time to work up to some heavier weights where appropriate.
The Metcon proportion is very much programmed for all levels. However, you might find slightly more bodyweight movements than in some other programs. In my month here, we did both snatch balance and dumbbell thrusters, neither which seemed out of place, indicating there is a healthy focus on good mobility and technique.
If you’re an experienced crossfit athlete, you want to train with others, and plan to stay in Sabaneta for a while, you would probably find it beneficial to sign up to the more advanced programming offered at the gym by coach, and regional competitor @albornozprogram.
Whilst it’s not coached in classes, groups of members join up training together alongside the classes through the day. If you are able to train from midday to 4pm, it’s even better because you will not have to work around the classes.
I haven't followed the program, but it seems to get great results and the workouts seem fun, heavy, and well-formed.
MMA / Kickboxing
The membership at Faster Crossfit also includes kickboxing classes, which is a great option for anyone wanting to mix up the training with alternative movements and new skills.
Why you should stay in Sabaneta:
Sabaneta is my preferred spot to base myself when in Medellin for an extended period of time. Sabaneta has a lively but almost family feel and everything you need is close by. There isn’t much need to venture into the city regularly, unless you want to.
Sabaneta is located south of Medellin, surrounded by mountains on three sides, making for a spectacular view. It also has very easy access to the Metro taking you straight into El Poblado or the centre of Medellin.
Faster Crossfit is no more than five minutes walk from La Estrella station, and Parque Sabaneta lies around the same distance from Sabaneta metro station.
Despite becoming a more popular area with Colombians over recent years, the area is unvisited by tourists and only a small number of expats call it their home. Maybe this is how it’s managed to hold onto it authentic Colombian richness.
Nutrition in Sabaneta
In terms of nutrition, it’s probably the best suited to those who want to cook for themselves. Whilst there is a large selection of restaurants, from Colombian, to delicious burgers and Mexican food, there isn’t much in the way of healthy choices. Closeby Envigado and El Poblado certainly have more to offer in this area.