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“Quitting is not an option when it comes to your career”, Paul Bamba of ‘Trifecta Strong’ and Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated

The best advice I can give is, focus on yourself and never give up. Quitting is not an option when it comes to your career. The harder you work in the beginning, the better the ending will be. There will be times when it seems like everything is working against you and you are failing, […]

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The best advice I can give is, focus on yourself and never give up. Quitting is not an option when it comes to your career. The harder you work in the beginning, the better the ending will be. There will be times when it seems like everything is working against you and you are failing, but always remember to keep your head up, eyes forward, and advance one foot in front of the other.


As a part of our series about “How Athletes Optimize Their Mind & Body For Peak Performance”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Paul Bamba.

Paul Bamba is a highly sought after celebrity trainer, combat fitness expert and founder of Trifecta, a boxing and fitness training company that has trained a plethora of individuals from movie stars to everyday fitness enthusiasts. As a skilled strength and conditioning coach that has been training athletes and professional boxers in New York City for close to a decade, Bamba has devised a unique form of training that combines fitness, strength training, boxing, and military combat skills to achieve rapid and impressive results. He is also an expert in kinesiology and sports psychology making him a well qualified fitness professional with the credentials to prove it. Bamba joined the Marine Corps at 17, where he became an experienced combat soldier and is now a proud veteran. With a penchant for service and helping others, Bamba is a notable philanthropist who has coordinated numerous campaigns and activations to give back to those in need and the disenfranchised. A quarter-finalist in the New York Golden Gloves and in line to turn pro, Bamba continues to nurture his first love — boxing, and utilize the sport to open doors that would have otherwise been closed.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to learn more about your personal background. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

My childhood wasn’t very ideal. I grew up in a broken home. With my parents both struggling to raise me, I ended up being raised by foster parents. My childhood was not the best, but it made me a survivor and a fighter. As soon as I was able to, at 17 years old I enlisted in the Marine Corps, served, was discharged and immediately moved to New York City with nothing but a dream to pursue a career in fitness, and a desire to help people better themselves.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career working with high level professional athletes? We’d love to hear the story.

I was inspired to work with high-level professional athletes because I saw that they were successful, and I wanted to be a part of that success. I knew that if I could help athletes continue their success or achieve their goals, I would in turn be able to achieve success for myself.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

Most people think that help or encouragement is what drives people to want to succeed but for me, what drives me the most are the people who said that I wouldn’t be able to achieve anything. Today, the person who made one of the biggest impacts on my career is Hollywood Hino. He introduced me to a part of the fitness world that I had not known, and without him I probably would not be where I am today. The hardest part of having

someone like a guide or a mentor is that once you begin to achieve things on your own at a certain point you begin to surpass them, and sometimes when this happens they start to see you as a threat. I have become very familiar with this experience throughout my career, but it only motivates me to be better, and more successful.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your sports career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

A few years ago I decided to run in the New York City marathon, even though I had absolutely no training. After the marathon, I tried to climb a five-floor walk up and my legs just completely gave out. The lesson I learned was to not shortchange the preparation and I have been implementing that lesson ever since.

What advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your career?

The best advice I can give is, focus on yourself and never give up. Quitting is not an option when it comes to your career. The harder you work in the beginning, the better the ending will be. There will be times when it seems like everything is working against you and you are failing, but always remember to keep your head up, eyes forward, and advance one foot in front of the other.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

I am currently working on a digital application for my fitness company, Trifecta that will launch globally in 2021. The App will be instrumental in helping people improve their physical fitness, nutritional fitness, and mental fitness — from anywhere in the world.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. As you know, athletes often face high stakes situations that involve a lot of pressure. Most of us tend to wither in the face of such pressure and stress. Can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you teach to optimize your mind for peak performance before high-pressure, high stress situations?

Three strategies I teach to optimize my mind for peak performance:

#1. Keep yourself calm with breathing before a stressful moment arises. Take three slow and deep breaths inhale, and then three slow and deep breaths exhale. Repeat this three times to calm your body, and mind.

#2. Visualize the end results and the success you want to see from the situation.

#3. Exercise to keep yourself in a prime physical condition.

Do you teach any special or particular breathing techniques to help optimize yourself?

I teach the Trifecta breathing method, which involves the Wim Hof, and yoga methods.

This breathing method is a multi-part breathing routine where you repeat each part three times.

STEPS:

Part 1: Breathe in and out at a normal rate.

Part 2: Breathe in for a count of three and breathe out for a count of three.

Part 3: Breathe in for a count of three, hold your breath for a count of three, breathe out for a count of three, and hold your breath for a count of three.

Part 4: Breathe in for a count of three, and breathe out for a count of three.

Part 5: Breathe in and out at a consistent, fast rate of speed and thirty times. Breathe in and hold your breath for a count of fifteen. Exhale.

Part 6: Breathe in and out at a normal rate.

Do you have a special technique to develop a strong focus, and clear away distractions?

I normally use The Einstein method, which is combination of yoga, stretching, and strength. Then follow this with the Trifecta breathing method to focus. The Einstein method has multiple parts and each part you hold for a count of three.

STEPS:

Part 1: Begin with your feet shoulder width apart.

Part 2: Reach arms up, bend back and hold.

Part 3: Reach down through the legs, with your chin to chest.

Part 4: Walk hands into a plank and perform upward dog, with hips pressed down and your back arched.

Part 5: Move into downward dog position with your heels pressed towards the ground.

Part 6: Place your left foot next to left hand with your hips pressed forward.

Part 7: Rotate your right hand up and then alternate to your left hand.

Part 8: Lift your left leg straight back and upward.

Part 9: Place your right foot next to right hand with your hips pressed forward.

Part 10: Rotate your right hand up and then alternate to your left hand.

Part 11: Lift your right leg straight back, and upward.

Part 12: Walk your hands back to your feet, pressing both hands towards floor, then arch your back with your head facing up.

How about your body? Can you share a few strategies that you use to optimize your body for peak performance?

The key to optimizing your body is recovery. In my normal routine I like to utilize hot saunas, cold showers, steam, and massages to make sure my body is always rejuvenated.

These ideas are excellent, but for most of us in order for them to become integrated into our lives and really put them to use, we have to turn them into habits and make them become ‘second nature’. Has this been true in your life? How have habits played a role in your success?

This is 100% true. Habits are crucial to success. Repetition of the strategies transform to habits. Continued practice of habits with attempts at perfection becomes skills that result in progress.

Can you share some of the strategies you have used to turn the ideas above into habits? What is the best way to develop great habits for optimal performance? How can one stop bad habits?

I have used multiple methods, but here is some key ones,

#1. Write down your goals.

#2. Say your goals out loud.

#3. Visualize your success.

High performance athletes often experience times when things are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a mind state of Flow more often in our lives?

To achieve more flow I would recommend, challenging yourself more often and consistently. The accumulation of these small moments repeatedly will create Flow, and the consistency will allow it to be sustained.

Do you have any meditation practices that you use to help you in your life? We’d love to hear about it.

I use meditation techniques daily. I like to keep moving so I take walks, keeping my mind completely clear, and utilize this time to focus on my goals. I also take baths, and use this time to focus on my inner self, to achieve clarity.

Many of us are limited by our self-talk, or by negative mind chatter, such as regrets, and feelings of inferiority. Do you have any suggestions about how to “change the channel” of our thoughts? What is the best way to change our thoughts?

I read a lot of books on mastering my thoughts and feelings so I am constantly reminded that my thoughts are powerful, and what I think holds power. The best way to change your thoughts is to get it out of your mind. Write it down, read it out loud, write down a positive counter, read the positive counter out loud, and destroy the paper with the negative thought.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are by all accounts a very successful person. How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I am very focused on paying it forward with community outreach. One of the things that makes me the happiest is giving back to those in need. In the past year, I have been more committed to organizing fundraising events, and giveaway’s within local New York communities. This past Thanksgiving we organized a give away of 500 turkeys, which impacted over 5,000 individuals within The Bronx community.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

My favorite life lesson quote is, “whatever may be for you is yours for the taking.” This resonates because it means that anything and everything I want to accomplish happens if I put my mind to it and put hard work and effort behind it. I also use this quote during sessions to motivate my clients.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

I would love to meet David Goggins because he inspired me to accomplish my #72In72 challenge where I raised funds for those affected by Covid-19. His work ethic and mindset are similar to mine and I have seen how he impacts others. I know I can have a similar impact; so meeting him would be very inspiring to me.

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