I have to admit that when I first met Sachin and heard the magical words: "I'm an Orthopedic Surgery Resident" I fell in CrossFit-Love and was infatuated with the prospect of having an in house expert with whom I can geek out on musculoskeletal anatomy and physiology. While I've thoroughly enjoyed doing that, that is not the main thing that excites me about Sachin becoming a part of our community. Sachin definitely puts in the work in class but he can also regularly be found "paying the man" in the back working on skills & technique. For many of us, its easy to cherry pick workouts that play to our strengths and overly work on the things we need to work on the least. Sachin's focus on virtuosity and addressing his weaker areas in the back is the best antidote to this.
In addition to bringing the right approach and mentality to working out at UB, Sachin also brings the right mentality to our community. In spite of having a very stressful job, he can almost always be found with a positive attitude and a smile on his face. In just the short time he's been a member, he's become quite a visible member of our community and is always eager to meet new members of the gym.I've already seen significant improvement in Sachin and looking forward to seeing them continue and the Black Mambas are lucky to have him on their team.
Name: Sachin Allahabadi
Nickname / Alter Ego: I also go by “Sach”
Hometown: Glendora, CA (suburb of Los Angeles near Pasadena, CA)
Occupation: UCSF Orthopaedic Surgery resident – I am in my first year of a 5-year residency right now (after 4 years of medical school), which will be followed by at least one year of fellowship subspecialty training (perhaps in sports medicine, but we will see!).
When did you first start CrossFitting/Strength Training?: I grew up playing basketball and played in high school and on the club team in college. As club season in college was ending in my senior year, I was looking for new ways to train and stay in shape that I could sustain in medical school. At that time, I was in an advanced exercise physiology course where we read literature on the benefits of multi sport training, which got me really into triathlon. From senior year of college through the 3rd year of medical school, I largely focused on triathlon training. To balance the long endurance work, I also did bodyweight bootcamp-style workouts. In fact, I also got certified as a personal trainer during medical school and led group fitness workouts in a local park and at the university gym. I noticed that in triathlon I was always a weak biker, so I joined CrossFit at the end of my 3rd year of medical school as a way to hope I would get more leg strength and endurance to race at a higher level. At CrossFit Central Houston, I absolutely loved the community, the coaches, and being on the other side of group fitness. My 4th year medical school schedule with lots of travel for rotations and interviews didn’t allow me to consistently get back into CrossFit until February 2017, but since then I’ve been pretty consistent over the last year.
When did you first start CrossFitting/Strength Training at UB?: I moved to San Francisco in June 2017 for my residency. In my housing search, I looked for places close to gyms and CrossFit boxes so I could have plenty of options, and loved the location of UB being so close to some of the hospitals and read great reviews online. I actually came to UB the same day I arrived in SF (literally within 5 hours) and dropped in for a workout. I waited 2-3 months to get in a rhythm of residency and did workouts on my own at the university gym, and then joined UB when I missed the community aspect of training too much.
Favorite WOD: I love longer WODs because I tend to be better at endurance workouts than sprints, and I also am better at workouts with non-barbell movements. I love rowing, double-unders, pull-ups, wallballs, burpees, muscle-ups of all sorts, box jumps, and rope climbs. I’ve recently gotten better at handstand push-ups which I am excited about. I really enjoy barbell movements too, but I am still working a lot on my barbell skills.
Least favorite WOD: I don’t really have a “least favorite” WOD and that’s why I love CrossFit, but I am significantly weaker at overhead and pressing movements than I am at others. So any workout with push jerks or push presses for example, even if amidst other movements I’m good at, will significantly slow me down and tank the rest of my workout. I’m actively trying to work on my overhead strength and overhead mobility daily, in addition to proficiency and efficiency in my Olympic lifts. Overhead mobility, core strength, and posture are so key to my work that I think of training these aspects as priority even if not for improving my workout times. I hate the Assault Bike, but I have this awful part of me that will always choose it if it’s an option :)
Favorite workout track: Anything REALLY LOUD with a heavy bass or drum with a quick beat.
Least favorite workout track: Even really soft, slower songs can be nice at the gym sometimes when doing technique work or recovery/mobility.
How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? As someone always reading about exercise online, it was hard to not hear about it. I think my initial exposure was related to “CrossFit fails” where it showed people overdoing movements they weren’t trained in or not listening to their body and getting injured. However, like any sport, if you have good coaching like we do at UB, you invest the time to understand what you are doing and practice good form, know your current level and limits, and listen to your body, you can easily do CrossFit (or any sport) safely. After enough exposure over a few years, seeing the results people were getting, and leading similar bodyweight bootcamp workouts myself, I thought it would be beneficial to try CrossFit to improve my strength and power, especially as a supplement to triathlon training. I haven’t looked back since. Despite my residency hours being demanding (working multiple 28-hr shifts in the hospital a week), I believe I am currently the most fit I have ever been.
What is an unexpected way CrossFit has affected your life? I’ve always been into fitness and exercise. Even when I was younger (elementary school) I have books on how to improve sports performance that I would have my parents get me at the bookstore. I majored in Bioengineering and Kinesiology/Sports Medicine in college so I could learn more about movement and performance. Pretty much my whole life my interests have been in sport/exercise and the musculoskeletal system. I hardly know anything about the real world outside of those things… Given that my work and residency is incredibly busy, getting really into CrossFit has probably made me even more unidimensional than I already was since all I do now is work, eat, sleep, and either do or read about CrossFit! But CrossFit and having a community of people around me who care similarly about their health has been fantastic. It’s a great outlet away from studying and hospital life. It gives me something to look forward to each day when I’m either leaving the hospital or waking up after recovering from a call shift. I get so stoked to see the next day’s workout and to see the friends I have made at the box. I have become much more aware of my body and my movement, breathing, posture, and nutrition. I am constantly thinking about how to prep myself for the next workout to get better. I have aspirations to join physician & surgeon communities who support CrossFit and want to try and incorporate some of these principles into my practice with my patients. In April, I am SO excited I have the unique opportunity to go to a Level I training seminar for physicians only with Greg Glassman at the CrossFit Ranch in Aromas, CA. I believe if you can teach people how to move well and understand their body, exercise, nutrition, and health, we can not only combat many chronic and largely-preventable diseases, but we can also significantly reduce injury rates in those pursuing exercise (whether via CrossFit or not), from elite athletes to those just starting to workout.
What would be your favorite cheat meal and favorite "good" meal? I have a lot of dietary restrictions based both on preference and my body that fortunately lean me towards eating healthy in general at baseline. I love bowls with foods like sweet potatoes, a variety of green veggies, avocados, carrots, and chicken. I am always also in the mood for fajitas and of course Indian curries. The most difficulty I have with eating is when I have long call shifts and binge in the middle of the night, or long surgeries when I might not eat or drink for hours. My biggest weakness is dessert, and more specifically, my kryptonite is definitely chocolate. I actually can’t recall a single time I have ever turned down anything with chocolate in it… Also I am a huge fan of gummy bears and funfetti cake…