Thank you for tuning in to The Community Conversation, brought to you by Prototype Training Systems, home of CrossFit Prototype. The Community Conversation highlights a different member of the Prototype Community each week and allows them to tell their story, share their life experience, and communicate their perspective on all things fitness.

We’ve all listened to podcasts and watched YouTube videos that highlight some of the world’s greatest leaders and visionaries and these people also walk amongst us. We believe we have some AMAZING people at Prototype and we want you to get to know them!

To that end, I want to introduce our 4th guest, AB Pujari. AB has been part of the Prototype community for almost 4 years, he’s one of the kindest, nicest people in the Prototype community. AB has practically done every program at Prototype including our CrossFit classes, our THRIVE classes , he has done our Weighlifting classes, personal training and has worked with our nutritionists at Prototype Nutrition.

So basically, AB has does pretty much everything at Prototype!

So tune in and enjoy!

Mike Collette 0:02
Hey, everyone, thank you so much for tuning into the community conversation brought to you by prototype Training Systems. Home across the community conversation highlights a different member of the prototype community each week, and allows them to tell their story, share life experience, and communicate all things, fitness. You know, we’ve all listened to podcast and watch YouTube videos that highlight some of the world’s greatest leaders and visionaries. And these people also walk amongst us. We believe we have some amazing people that prototype and we want you to get to know them. So to that end, I want to introduce you to our fourth guests, the community conversation at pujari. AB has been a part of the Prototype commnuity for almost four years, you know, one of the kindest, most loving dudes I’ve ever met, always smiling, and he worked his butt off that prototype, there’s a smile. So AB thank you so much for joining and being part of the community conversation today.


AB Pujari

Oh, thank thank you for having me. And as always great to be a part of this community.

Mike Collette

Dude, I appreciate that, man. So so you know, with the community conversation, that’s what we’re doing having a conversation. So why don’t you kind of give the listeners and everyone you know, tuning into this? You know, a little bit of background on you, you know, you know, wherever you want to start?

AB Pujari 1:14
Sure. Yeah. So as many of you know me by the name AB, it actually stands for Abhinav. That’s my first name. Abhinav pujari. I’m originally from India, and the central part of India. I’ve been here for almost 10 years now. came here from my Master’s in computer science at Northeastern. And I’ve been in New England ever since. So it’s been it’s been 10 years. I love it. Yeah. Soyeah, that’s, that’s basically my journey from back home, where my parents are all my family’s there and to hear where I’m here, my career and my future life.

Mike Collette 2:03
What’s been the transition for you like moving from India to especially like northeast and Massachusetts, like, what was that? Talk us through that? Because I know, you know, not everyone has that experience, like at the gym. So like, talk about, like, what that’s been like or what that was?

AB Pujari 2:18
Yeah. So I think initially when I came here 2011. So obviously, the initial excitement was there. I always like wanted to travel a lot and study in a different country. So the first few years when I was at Northeastern, it was major like excitement than just getting in touch with this new culture. Because there’s a huge cultural difference. I feel like India is more like closer to British culture because of the colonial. Yeah, we don’t have to go into that. But it was a big cultural shift from what India is and what America is. So that was very exciting and interesting. And just spend time here and you get along. I’m very, like, malleable. So I adjust to any anywhere. I’m going like, there’s a funny part about me that when I wherever I go, I just if I’m there enough, I get in, I can get that accent. So if I’m in like, you can switch to a British accent. If I’m in India, I don’t talk like this. This is my American so called fake accent.

Mike Collette 3:27
Interesting. I didn’t know that. So you’re able to like adjust like how your tone is and how you talk. I know that.

AB Pujari 3:33
I mean, it’s easier to communicate that way. Not important, obviously. But just easier. That way.

Mike Collette 3:40
You said you’ve always wanted to travel. Have you? Have you done a lot of traveling?

AB Pujari 3:44
Oh, yeah, I love to travel. I haven’t traveled as much as I wanted to. But I’ve been to a lot of Southeast Asian countries. A lot of European countries, Middle East, African countries, obviously North America. I haven’t been to South America yet. So I really want to go to Machu Picchu. And my lifelong dream is to hike Kilimanjaro. So that’s, that’s going to be something that I want to focus on for the next two years.

Mike Collette 4:12
I love that. So I keep staring at this photo behind you. So people are listening to this, the ABS got this like really cool, like very colorful drawing of an elephant. So is there a story there? Or like what is that?

AB Pujari 4:28
I love elephants there. I went to South Africa a couple of years ago and we went on a safari and it was just the most unbelievable experience like a life changing experience. And I feel that like Ellie’s are always likevery active and naughty and cheerful. unpredictable. So I really like elephants. So that’s and this is a beautiful obviously looks great. Really beautiful.

Mike Collette 5:00
So it’s awesome. Did you get that in South Africa?

AB Pujari 5:03
I did not. I got it at Wayfair actually.

Mike Collette 5:06
Did you really? Wayfair is awesome.

AB Pujari 5:09
You got everything here so we have been it’s I love I love that that is the main focus of my living room here and the Christmas tree obviously.

Mike Collette 5:19
So all right, so you went to Northeastern and then so like how did you end up in like the Westboro or when did you like move to Westboro?

AB Pujari 5:27
Yeah, so I moved to after my master’s I got a job in Westboro and that’s when I moved to Westboro. Somesh as you guys probably, you know, he was also in Westborough at the same same company that I was working for, and been, I mean, I like west for a lot.Great community. Everything’s close by. And it’s a suburb some, although, in India, I mean, there are a lot of people I just like living in the suburbs a lot more. So I really like Westboro. So when you got to Westboro and what was that, by the way? When did you When did you move to westborough? 2014. So, masters, and then after that, I moved to Westborough in 2014. Yeah,

Mike Collette 6:14
yeah. And then you started at prototyping like 2017. So were you doing like, you weren’t doing like CrossFit, though, like, me or like, talk us about like, the different stuff you were doing. Were you like, working out and doing stuff in India before you came? Like tell us about like, the fitness side of things.

AB Pujari 6:30
So from the fitness perspective, I mean, I’ve loved sports all my life. So I’ve always been involved in sports. I was in almost all of the teams in my high school used to play a national handball, soccer, cricket, like, almost everything. So I was really into sports, and I was active. But I’ve always had this struggle with like weight, because I love my food. And I’m like a heavy person. So I’ve always looked at like trying different things. How to, like, get back into shape, make basically make sure that I’m fit. So when I moved to Westbororight before that, I did a co op at one of the investment management firms in Boston, it was on the 23rd floor. And every day for lunch, I used to walk up the stairs, all 24 floors. And then Monday after once doing that, I just got used to it. And then I did a vertical marathon climbing credential. And that was like really amazing. So I keep kept trying different things. When I moved to Westborough, I looked around what was available, and then I landed at Gold’s Gym. Then I started the usual training, treadmill, whatever that thing called. elliptical machine, and then weights and stuff, but add goals. After a year I got like, as all of you know, Andy is joining us and he was actually at Gold’s Gym. And he has introduced me to the high intensity interval training concept. And that’s where I like I got used to like working out, like in a circuit style basis, and then I get bored very easily. So after like, two years of doing that, I’m like, I need something else. So I forced some ash to come with me one day to cross a prototype. And we’re like, yeah, let’s just do it. And that’s how that’s how we started at CrossFit. I mean, we we have been around that that this area a lot. And we use always used to go to the restaurants a pizza to get our chicken parm sandwich for lunch. So used to watch people crazy people running shirtless outside photosite. Like, what is going on? We can’t be the ones that are doing that. And then you’re like, one day, just go and check it out. And that’s how we landed at Prototype.

Mike Collette 9:03
So the day you came in, like checked it out, like what was your like, first impression? And then like, like, following that? Like what? Like, what did you experience? Like, what made you kind of like, stick with it? And like in like, you know, be part of the community?

AB Pujari 9:17
Yeah. So if you think of me, I was obviously very intimidated coming to prototype because of the whole idea of crossfitters to the outside world. I come in. I think Ben was the coach at that time. And john was also there coaching. As soon as I come in, I look at people working out and I was very intimidated because these are things that normal like normal daily. People don’t really do like power cleans snatches. That’s a that’s something that not everyone does. So it was intimidating. And then the people I looked at, everyone looked perfect to me. And they’re like, Oh, she’s perfect. He’s perfect. And that’s what I thought about. In my mind that, like how I’m not a perfect person, how am I going to be working out with all these perfect people? People were like, I think it was Curran was she was, like, seven months pregnant or something. And she was doing cleans. And I was like, it was mind boggling to me that like, these are amazing people. And that was the most inspiring part for me. And the next step was I just started coming in daily, just keep keep going in and don’t worry about anything else. That’s what happened. And here we are. Now it’s more of a lifestyle. Like, I don’t have to make a mental decision, then I need to go work out. It’s just a lifestyle. I wake up, I go to the 7am class, I workout or title workout. And then I go to coffee. Like that’s the lifestyle.

Mike Collette 10:55
Part of your normal routine. And I know you’ve kind of gotten in and tried like all the different stuff that we do so like, you know, you’ve done like Andy’s workouts in the past, which is doing our Prototype X class, you’ve done CrossFit class, weightlifting excuse me, thrive classes, like, you know, like, What’s your favorite part about those different things like what you know, like, you know, what is kind of made you kind of because you’re not everyone, like, dipped into all those different buckets, you know, some people are going to stay within like their lane. They like CrossFit, and do CrossFit. And you’ve kind of tried everything, which is that tell me a little bit tell, I guess, tell everyone a little bit about that.

AB Pujari 11:29
Yeah. So as you as I’ve said that I’m, I have a range of three to six months. If I’m doing something for three to six months after that, I’m kind of like demotivated, I kind of need a reset. And with all these programs, I felt that that was what I was like, what that’s that’s what I need it.If I got bored with CrossFit or doing the same monotonous workout, then I would switch to weightlifting, I love weightlifting, I’ll do heavy cleans snatches like one of my favorite movements of the snatch, like I love a snatch. And I will do that for for three to six months, and then I’ll be stagnant again, and then I’ll switch back to CrossFit or switch up with the nutrition or thrive like, I’ve, that’s what I love about this, that I can, when I get bored, I can catch myself and try something else. And just train different parts of it. Like, I just went on a golfing trip. And I felt like when I golf, it was like all different kinds of muscles that we use. So it’s just that you, you have to what I think is you just have to do a lot of different things. And that’s how you end up being in the best position. Fitness wise.

Mike Collette 12:50
Yeah, and like, and again, like not everyone’s kind of like gotten in all those things. You know, you have the, like, 3-6 months, like I’m bored with this, let me move on to something else. I like that you’re, you know, that you you’re staying with some of the different programs that we have within like the gym, and you’re seeing like the differences and there’s like, there are like clear differences between the different things that we’re doing. And you see the benefits all those things. I just I really liked that. I think not, not everyone has that also has the opportunity to do all those sorts of classes as well. Like, you know, maybe now’s now more so than ever, with COVID having a little more flexibility or schedule, I’d really like to talk to you about that. Like, how is like COVID like, how has that impacted you like quarantine? How is the like, how have you made it work with the gym because I know like your setup, like, especially with like home workouts, like I remember you showing me your, like your living room, but you still did it. And you know, one of the things that you should be really proud of, and I’m super proud of you. And I think a lot of people would say same thing is like, you know, when people don’t have the resources or have like the space to do stuff sometimes like you know, I’m yeah, I’m not gonna do it and you stuck with it, despite not having a lot of stuff and you made it work and you stayed consistent, stayed in that routine, like had to do that.

AB Pujari 14:06
So, to me, my focus was mostly on discipline and not on like motivation, right? So I was disciplined for the last three years just going in, it was more of a lifestyle to me. I go in, I meet my people, I meet my coaches, the people who are like people who I like to hang out with and that’s what I wanted. I’m not looking at each day to see look at a different workout. I’m just looking to hang out with people right I’m here alone. I have my parents are like back home like really far away. So to me this is this is my friends and family that I want to hang out with. And I mean most of the stuff in the in our classes, plans, you can scale anything you want. Most of it is bodyweight. So during the first part of the quarantine period, like I divided into like, three, three months, so the first three months, it was like a lot of like, a lot of body weight stuff just hanging in there and motivation. I was really excited for the first three months because is it this was new, like the quarantine obviously was new to everyone. So the first three months I thought weren’t that bad. And then, like, the next three months, got a little, like, iffy, where we had to really, really focus and make an effort basically, to go and work out. And that’s where the community comes in, where I like to see people when I don’t show up. I get texts every day. Where are you? Why are you not here? Don’t give us excuses. So it’s like, that’s what keeps you going, right? It’s just a lifestyle. You. You never think about going into work. It’s just that you know that Monday to Friday, you have to work so you just go on work. That’s the same thing with CrossFit

Mike Collette 16:03
I love that. I love that. I know you’ve developed a lot of like, really awesome relationships, like at the gym. I know like you and some ash are like really tight. good buddies. You guys have started this together like but now you made a bunch. bunch more friends. Tell me like I guess tell everyone like what’s your favorite? You might not have one that was more than one. Like, what’s your like, favorite experience or favorite memory from from being at the gym so far? Do you have one?

AB Pujari 16:32
Oh, yeah, there’s there’s plenty of great memories. I’ll start from like, not a fun one. I remember the first I think it was within the first three months when again 7am there’s a workout. Think it was EMOM, one of the workouts with rowing and wall balls and that workout absolutely crushed me like I was mentally like it broke me mentally and not everyone knows this but i think so much and you probably know it but because you were there I literally cried that day after the class I’m like, I can’t like this is not happening. I can’t do this. I can’t move my body. I’m whatever blah blah blah sounds I can’t move do anything and that was like one of the memories that I still have. Because since then, I mean obviously a lot of things have changed and I’m like more aware of like what my capabilities are are and I focus on what I can do and what not what i what i can’t do. So that’s one of the big ones double unders again. Great memory The first time I got double unders it was just amazing. I I kept doing I kept doing it every day for I don’t even probably six months, just five minutes after classes kept trying kept trying. And one day I got it and the day I got it. I was like now I know the secret practice secret just you have to give yourself the opportunity to get that rhythm. And that’s what changed it. I did it so many times that I got that rhythm. And then once you get that rhythm that will under there easy for me now. So all the all of the competitions again, great memories lifting heavy. Everyone’s cheering for you is yes. great memories.

Mike Collette 18:29
I’m trying to remember that workout. You mentioned the wall balls and rowing. Was it? Was it wall balls and the assault bike? Or was it was it rolling in Wall balls?

AB Pujari 18:36
I think it was rowing. And I saw I love assault bike. Right?

Mike Collette 18:39
You crush that?

AB Pujari 18:40
Yeah, I love assault bikes

Mike Collette 18:43
You’re on of the only people that will say that, by the way. Just saying

AB Pujari 18:47
well see, again, focus on the things you can do. So I’m a heavy guy called guy assault bikes and drawers are like, good for me. So yeah, focus on that.

Mike Collette 19:00
I love it. Man. I think your, your perspective, I think a lot of people could could benefit from taking that perspective. And, you know, the humility that you have and the work ethic and routine and all that sort of stuff. I mean, you’ve made the most out of you know, like I said, especially the last few months with its COVID and everything you’ve made the most out of it. And again, not. Not many people can say that say the same thing. So you should be like, super proud of yourself.

AB Pujari 19:32
Yeah, um, I think it’s been great. But also I want also definitely want to say that it’sit’s not always positive, right? That’s very important to say that everyone is struggling with something or the other people look perfect from the outside, but everyone has their own struggles just different ones. So it’s just it’s just a fact everyone has to struggles, you just focus on what the positives are, what the good part about life is. And that’s what you should focus on. So, yeah,

Mike Collette 20:09
So how have you like, Have you always been like that? Like, how or is that been like a mindset shift?

AB Pujari 20:14
No, definitely that I’ve, I’ve not always been like that. And I am never, like I’m never 100% positive all the time either, right? So it’s just like, you just get better over time, like with all the people that have been around So many adversities, Jean, Cathy, Caitlin, Kim, like so many great people that inspire me, like, it’s everything, every little thing helps. Because every day you learn everyday you get better. Some days, I’m not that positive someday that really positive. So we just have to get to a position where we are always moving towards majority of the positive time in your day. That’s what you want.

Mike Collette 21:05
Now, that’s a really good way to look at it. Yeah, you can’t be positive all the time. Right. But I think like, you know, being mindful of it, and understanding there’s a balance between it. Yeah, that’s a that’s a really good perspective. And I love that you’re, you’re sharing that AB. I got three questions. Three more questions for you.

AB Pujari 21:26
All right.

Mike Collette 21:27
All right. Spitfire. Favorite movie, and or TV show of all time? Go.

AB Pujari 21:36
That’s a good one. So I’ll, I’ll tell you one of each. Okay, favorite movie series of all time Jurassic series. I loved your art. drastic world. Big fan. Watch it any number of times. And favorite show friends. Watch it any friends love friends.

Mike Collette 21:55
I love it. All right. I think you’re gonna be at our party tonight. Right?

AB Pujari 21:58
Yeah, we’ll definitely be a party.

Mike Collette 22:00
You’ll see some friends. For sure. You know what I mean? After I say that?

AB Pujari 22:06
Favorite musician or music artist of all time, or band or group?

Well, I’m, I’m very new to the American music. Culture. But I mean, might be surprised, but I love country music a lot.

Mike Collette 22:25
Nice. What’s your favorite?

AB Pujari 22:29
Keith Urban. I love Keith Herman. He’s good. Garth Brooks is good. He’s a little, like, not modern country. Yeah, Thomas Wright, I love songs. Right? So a lot of the modern country artists I like a lot. And obviously Bollywood like Indian music. I love it.

Mike Collette 22:49
I did not know you like country music. I’ve always tried to get into country music.

AB Pujari 22:53
Full of surprises?

Mike Collette 22:55
It’s not for me, I know you’re full of surprises. My last question, What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at the gym or not working? Or, you know, what’s your favorite like your favorite hobby?

AB Pujari 23:07
I love food. So anything related to food, either watching food shows, TV shows,or cooking I love cooking and also just getting in touch with my favorite people, coaches, friends, family, just I love I love to just call people and text people and like, just randomly chat so

Mike Collette 23:34
that you are this you are a social butterfly, my man.

AB Pujari 23:37
Definitely. It’s been a hard 2020 but it’s been okay. So far.

Mike Collette 23:42
Like I said, you made the best of it.

AB Pujari 23:43
New Year, new me, right?

Mike Collette 23:45
That’s right. That’s right. Well, AB you know, thank you again, for being part of the the community conversation. You know, this means so much to me means so much to the team, it prototyped the community. And then for all you guys are like tuning in watching right now. Thank you. And just remember, every week we’re releasing a new community conversation with a new guest teacher week started to be the first to know and the new community conversations out it’s going to be posted in our members only group, or subscribe to our YouTube page, or our daily net newsletter. And if you’re a member, and you’re not in our members group, for some reason, just let us know, make sure that you’re added in. And lastly, if you’re interested in being part of the community conversation, just shoot us a message and we’d love to have you. So until next time, get after it and go crush it everyone.

AB Pujari 24:30
I have one more thing I want to give a quick shout out to all our coaches, Leah, john, Bri and Caitlin you, Sam, Christina, everyone, just thank you thank you so much because you are changing lives of people and you’re saving lives of people and you make what is great about a prototype or a training system. So thank you, Joe. I mean, it’s that that’s what makes The community like great leaders like you guys, so thank you.

Mike Collette 25:03
Thank you, AB. That’s awesome. That’s a good way to close it. Thanks my man.

AB Pujari 25:08
All right.