La Parada CF is located in the heart of Miraflores, just a few minutes walk away from a couple of popular hostels. Classes are small, and even during peak times it never gets too crowded. In my three weeks training here I can't remember a day where the class programming didn't deliver on a great workout.
If you are looking for somewhere to train for a couple of days, La Parada is a great shout. You can check the WOD posted on their Instagram story, and between 10am - 6pm the far end of the gym is kept clear for anybody who wants to do their own training. And if you are in Lima for a bit longer, La Parada is a great place to meet people. A fair number of members spoke excellent English.
The staff are really welcoming, so it's worth popping in to say high if you are in Miraflores.
Ideal location, 2 mins walk from hostels
Lots of Olympic Lifting in class programming
Toilets and changing
Open gym space
Second, non-technical program
Coaches follow class programming
RX+ options on a lot of the metcon
Altitude: Sea level
There's no mistaking La Parada when you pass it. The huge billboard-like signs with games shots of Matt Fraser and other athletes give you the impression that you might be about to walk into an arena. Even inside, one end of the lofty space is adorned with a giant poster of someone doing a ring dip. Despite the first appearance, and the fact that the Head Coach, Daniel has his CrossFit L2, they are, in fact, not a CrossFit Affiliate. They are careful not to call themselves one.
While there is the option to use the open gym time to train, only a tiny handful of members take advantage. Instead, most come for the hour class, hit it hard, and then that will be it. Training at the same time each day, members in the class clearly know each other well, and there is a brilliant sense of comradeship amongst everyone. At the same time, I found people to be very welcoming.
The large, covered space in the middle of Lima’s commercial district has a tall ceiling with rings and ropes suspended from high up. There are three lifting platforms down the far end of the gym, which are available to be used during the open gym times. The rig fit along the full length of the gym on one side. So whilst you don’t have a squat rack on the platforms, there are a couple to the side which you can use.
The rig is surprisingly grippy, and there's no shortage of bars for tall people which can often be an issue in this area of the world. The barbells and bumper plates are in good condition, although if you want to drop the bar, you'll need to put a couple of mats down.
Maybe because they don’t make a big deal of the open, La Parada doesn’t have a considerable number of dumbells, at least at 50lb and above. However, you’ll probably forgive them given the range of kettlebells instead. Including more than a couple of pairs of 32Kg.
There is also a GHD and three Concept2 rowers.
Overall, as a gym it feels well-equipped, and very well-maintained. I would say it should have everything to keep even a highly competitive athlete happy for a week or so.
If you are not planning to take the classes (which I suggest you do) you will have to wait until 10am for their second, functional training programme to finish before you can use the open gym space.
Workout of the day
For me, the classes at La Parada were a highlight. They seemed to incorporate quite a bit of strength work on the Olympic lifts, while giving beginners time to work on technique.
The general pattern of the class was:
5-10 min warmup. The warmup is designed by whichever coach is taking your class.
Another 15 - 20 mins strength or skill work. Examples of these over my time included:
2RM power snatch
Heavy squat cleans
Double KB complex of 8swings, 6 FR lunges, 8 cleans, 6 push press
5 RM deadlifts
Metcon: The metcons were typically only between 10-20 mins in length but tended to be written in a way that allowed you to empty the tank if you wanted to.
Longer 35 - 40 min workouts weren't very common while I was there. If there was one thing which the program seemed to be missing, then that was it. It would have been good to have something which really tests your mental resilience to keep going over a more extended period. However, it’s quite possible that I just missed it.
It’s also worth considering that this is probably where their second programme steps in. Called 'Functional Training', these classes are less skilled but longer workouts.
The evening classes tended to have a stronger mix of people in them, and it was quite common to see coaches join in the early evening sessions. On the other hand, some of the classes through the middle of the day could be very quiet and lack much atmosphere.
La Parada CF is located in the heart of Miraflores, which, along with the Barranco area, are the wealthier areas of Lima and the most popular with visitors. Of the two, Miraflores is the more commercial and is home to a couple of large department stores which have good quality sports gear at a reasonable price. Both areas have a lot of restaurants and a coastline. The beach is a little further away from the heart of Miraflores, but the walk from the gym will only take 10 - 15 mins, and once you are there there is a nice footpath over the cliff top.
If you are visiting in the winter months, Miraflores has more atmosphere, where as the hostels in Barranco seem quieter.
What makes this area great is the convenience for everything. Staying at either of the three hostels below, you are only 2 mins walk away from the gym, and less than that from a choice of two good supermarkets. The more authentic food market is a bit further at 15mins, but still not far. In the same spot, every Sunday, there is an organic market selling all kinds of natural treats.
Where to stay close by to La Parada?
All three of the below are only a few minutes walk from the gym.
Dragonfly Hostel, Miraflores, Lima: I only stayed here during the winter. Whilst the hostel was quite busy, the 6 person dorm was never more than half full and I could get a good night's sleep.
Selina, Miraflores, Lima: I haven't stayed here, but they have a great cafe, and a lot of private rooms as well as dorms. Though it didn’t seem the most social of hostels.
The Flying Dog Hostel: I only stayed here for one night, but I had an excellent night’s sleep in an empty dorm.
Where to buy ingredients in Miraflores?
Close to the gym there are two large supermarkets, although they are not the cheapest:
For a more authentic, and cheaper experience head to Mercado Nº 1 de Surquillo. This is also a great place to pick up nuts and spices.