Yours truly is a tall individual who has always had a lean, lanky frame. I don’t want to die without every having reached my full potential and so one of my goals for this year is to gain twenty pounds of muscle. The accomplishment of this goal was one of the main factors when deciding where I wanted to base myself this year.
One day, it occurred to me to set about cultivating my orchard for all I was worth. For my purpose, I used sun and steel. Unceasing sunlight and implements fashioned of steel became the chief elements in my husbandry. Little by little, the orchard began to bear fruit, and thoughts of the body came to occupy a large part of my consciousness. -Yukio Mishima
After some research, I ended up settling on Medellin, Colombia as the location for my orchard. After living here four months, my research has pretty much been confirmed. The city is affordable, relatively easy to navigate without a car, and has most of the modern conveniences you can expect from a major urban metro (reliable internet, diversity of cuisine, nightlife). It’s also a perfectly suitable place for a guy who wants to train himself physically, and I’ll tell you why.
Affordable, quality red meat.
As you probably know, the majority of the work of physical training is done in the kitchen and in the bed. Diet and sleep are just as, if not more important than what you do in the gym.
It’s no secret that red meat is one of the best foods for adding muscle. For ethical and health reasons, I prefer to eat grass fed beef whenever possible. In the United States, this is not economically feasible for me. If I were to buy organic, grass fed beef from somewhere like Whole Foods I’d deplete my bank account in a matter of months. In Colombia, the steak is affordable and of good quality. A friend here told me that all beef here is grass fed. I haven’t been able to verify this claim, but I can attest to it’s low price.
A tip on buying meat in Colombia. There are a variety of cuts you can get here. I usually go for the solomito, which would be the equivalent of a rib eye in America, though here it has much less fat. The butchers here tend to butterfly the meat in very thin slices, so you’ll have to instruct them not to if, like me, you like your steaks thick and red in the middle. You may also need to prevent him from cutting off the rest of the already spare fat from the cut.
For steak prep I’ve found a marinade of olive oil, soy sauce, chopped raw garlic, and salt and pepper to be a simple and delicious recipe. The acid of the soy sauce will slightly tenderize the meat and give it a nice flavor. While I think steak tastes best when grilled and I do have a barbecue it’s somewhat of an ordeal to use so I usually just pan sear them on the stove with some olive oil.
Cheap milk and eggs.
Milk and and eggs are two other fantastic foods for those wanting to bulk or just add protein to their diet. The milk here is not ideal for a few reasons, but it is cheap. Preferably, I would drink drink non-pasteurized milk, since pasteurization destroys most of milks benefits. Unfortunately, I have not been able to source raw milk here in Colombia. Another qualm I have with the milk here is it’s sold in single use one liter plastic bags. Gross. But, the one good thing about the milk here is that, like most basic food items, it’s cheap. A liter here will set you back about $1.
Eggs are another staple of my training diet. I currently start my day with six of them, scrambled or fried in butter. This protein rich start to the day leaves me with none of the lethargy or brain fog that carbs induce. I save my carb intake for later in the day at lunch and dinner, when I’ve done most of my work and can afford to feel a little sleepy.
Ideally I’d source my own eggs from my own chickens but since I’m living in a city in a foreign country this is not an option. I buy my eggs from the grocery store in crates of 30 to the tune of ~$4.
Numerous, affordable gyms.
You shouldn’t have any trouble finding a gym in any Colombian city. I tried several in my neighborhood’s vicinity before pulling the trigger on a monthly membership at a chain called Smart Fit. It has the equipment I need for my workouts and they keep it very clean. I pay 70,000 COP for a monthly membership (~$22 at current exchange rates).
There are a few minor qualms I have with my gym, the most pressing of which I suspect are not unique to the gym and can be expected elsewhere in Colombia. First, no one re-racks their weights here. Second, the place is packed with Colombiana gym thots in skimpy skin tight workout wear which shows off their curvaceous figures. While at first I was delighted to discover Colombian gyms have more ass than your average strip club, I’ve since changed my attitude. I’ve come to resent this overt display of sexuality while I’m trying to focus on my workout. It’s incredibly distracting, and for this reason, I would prefer sexual segregation in all gymnasiums.
The weather is pretty sunny.
As for the second part of the title of this article, it’s one of the major reason expats and digital nomads prefer Medellin. Yeah, the weather is good, sort of. While the temps generally stay in the 75-85 range, it rains a lot, usually in the afternoon. It’s not uncommon for it to rain every afternoon for weeks on end. Still, there’s plenty of opportunity to get your daily dose of Vitamin D, especially if you have a penthouse with roof access or a pool.
Hopefully this article has given you some insight and helped you decide whether Colombia is the right place for you to live and train. If you’re looking for an affordable, very liveable place to settle, it checks a lot of those boxes. There’s also the fact that Colombia has a high concentration of Colombianas with long, luxurious hair.
Lest I come across as overly optimistic, rest assured, Colombia also has its negatives. I’ve also written about some of the cons of living here.