Six Weeks To Fitness

In Episode 176 of my Six Weeks To Fitness podcast, I sit down with celebrity fitness trainer Paul Bamba, a successful boxer, community activist, entrepreneur and former Marine. He's also the founder of Trifecta Fitness, a New York-based boxing and fitness training company. The company trains everyone, from celebrities to everyday fitness enthusiasts. Throughout his career, Paul has taken boxing and self-defense seriously by teaching self-defense classes to women and men of all ages.

Vince Ferguson

Well, before we talk about Trifecta Fitness, tell my listeners, where did you grow up and what was your childhood like before joining the Marine Corps.

Paul Bamba:

I grew up everywhere. I was born in Puerto Rico, I moved to LA, I lived in Massachusetts for a little bit. I was a ward of the state, the country rather because I was all over the place. So I was just bounced around a lot. So there's not one real spot I was really in growing up.

Vince Ferguson:

So there was no stability in your home.

Paul Bamba:

No, not at all. I think that, not even a little bit. Not until I joined the Marine Corps.

Vince Ferguson:

Really, so the Marine Corps gave you stability. Amazing.

Paul Bamba:

Yeah. Stability and structure.

Vince Ferguson:

And structure. Now, I know that Marines can do a lot to a young man, but why did you join the Marine Corps as opposed to any of the other branches? You laugh.

Paul Bamba:

The uniforms and that, I don't know, dress blues, dress blues are just beautiful, they're the best uniform out there. Also, I think because it was the hardest one and I've always loved challenging myself. With Marine Corps boot camp, it's 13 weeks, it's the longest of any other branch of service and you don't need to go to any other boot camp if you decide to go into another branch of service. However, if you're in the army and you want to become a Marine, you got to start all over again because you got to earn it and that's what I really liked about it. It was a hard thing to get into and then they're very selective and you have to have certain fitness requirements and stuff like that. So I liked it, it gave me something to look forward to, just to get better, a goal, I'm very goal-oriented.

Vince Ferguson:

Nice. Excellent. Excellent. So in addition to the combat fighting skills, because again, I know from being a Navy veteran that the Marines have the toughest, have structure that it's hard to basically be a Marine if you're not fit. In the Navy, you can go in there looking like a donut, but Marine Corps, you got to look good, you got to feel good, you got to know what you're doing and each one qualification come to being a Marine, but besides learning combat skills, because when it comes to fighting, the Marines go first pretty much, but in addition to combat fighting skills, what other skills did you take that you use today in your business?

Paul Bamba:

I would definitely say the structure part. Structure, just planning everything out, not just going off a whim I would say, having a plan, executing to that plan, and when things don't fall according to plan, sticking to that plan, because you made it for a reason. I think that has helped me the most. Also, just, the thing I love most about the Marines is comradery. So I would say when you are team building, being a team leader, I was a fire team leader and a squad leader in some parts. So things like that, they permeated into other portions of my life, it just made me more confident, I was able to pick the people that I wanted to build with and have it as a part of my team and it lets you see past the BS, I guess you could say.

Paul Bamba:

So when you know what you have, you know what you're attacking, or not attacking rather, but when you know what you're going after, and then you just stick to it. That's the main thing I learned with the Marines, no matter what, even if you fall short, you stick to the plan and you make sure you accomplish the mission. And that's how I operate on a day-to-day.

Vince Ferguson:

So you must have a plan.

Paul Bamba:

Oh yeah. I'm living part of my plan right now. I would tell you all of it. I have a 10 year since I was about ... I worked at GNC when I was 25 and I'm a bit ahead of schedule, I would say and I think that's because I stuck to my plan, even when stuff goes wrong, sometimes people they kind of give up or they're like, "Oh, I fell short." They call an audible, but that audible takes them away from the ultimate goal and it might actually take a little longer. I just stick to the plan.

Vince Ferguson:

How many years did you do in the corps?

Paul Bamba:

Four.

Vince Ferguson:

That's a lot. You know what I'm saying?

Paul Bamba:

Yeah, it's a little bit.

Vince Ferguson:

But of all the places that you could've moved to, I know you were discharged a few years ago, you came to New York, but why? Of all the places you could have gone, you could have gone to LA, Atlanta, wherever, you came here. Why?

Paul Bamba:

So this might sound a little weird. I knew I was going to be homeless and I tried to pick the easiest place to be homeless in my opinion, and the easiest place to work and also to go with, I love hard things, there's the saying, if you can make it in New York you can make it anywhere.

Vince Ferguson:

Yes.

Paul Bamba:

If you would've told me that before I moved to New York, I would've said, "Well, that just sounds dumb." But I think that there's a lot of truth behind that because New York will bring the grind out of you if you don't it in you. And if you have it in you, it's going to make that much better because you can't come here and be lazy, you'll get swallowed up, chewed up, spit out very easily. You constantly have to be moving forward.

Vince Ferguson:

True, true that. But let me go back for a second. You said you knew that you would be homeless when you came to New York and you still came?

Paul Bamba:

Yeah. I had a plan. It started off as a joke. I sold office supplies for this company called Quill, I think, something like that-

Paul Bamba:

... in Rhode Island and then it wasn't working out or I think they were moving the company or something and I'm like, "Oh, I'm going to go to New York and I'm going to fight." And I never boxed before and I was kind of like, "Eh, whatever." So I went to New York and I found a gym and I just made it all work. I was homeless for a bit and I was able to rent a mattress behind someone's couch in City Island for a bit and then ended up getting on my feet, getting a job. I got fired from that job, I got homeless again, lived on the train, but ultimately, all my goals were fitness-related and boxing-related, so no matter how bad stuff got, I literally, I just stuck to it, it's like, "Hey, I messed up. Cool. How do we fix it?" Rather than sulking or beating myself up about it, I'm like, "All right, cool, I messed that up, this is a solution to it, this is what we're doing or what I'm doing." And I just got to it. That's it.

Vince Ferguson:

Wow. That to me is truly amazing. Most people would've given up, coming here, and you're young, even much younger than you are now, coming to New York and basically, things can happen to a young guy, a young person in New York city if they're not careful. So how did you fall into boxing?

Paul Bamba:

Well, Morris Park, I was in the Bronx, so there was some guy, I got into a little altercation if you will in City Island and there's this guy that told me that I should box, I don't remember his name anymore and I wish I did, I think it's Eddie, he has like a karate studio in City Island and he brought me to the Bronx and he's like, "I'll pay for your training, you just got to come help." I had to come help clean up his dojo or whatever, do floors in morning, he'd pay for my training and I would walk from City Island to Morris Park every day just so I could learn, because I didn't have nothing else to do, school wasn't really my thing, I'm self-educated but I'm not curriculum, sit-down at a desk type educated.

Vince Ferguson:

Yes.

Paul Bamba:

So that's all I had. So I was just like, "I like this. I'm going to do this. I'm going to make it work. I might not become a version of Floyd Mayweather, but maybe I'll become like a Freddie Roach." You can make your mark either through fighting or through training and if you're training, you could help out a bunch of people in the process and build their confidence. So I was like, "It's a win-win." And you get to put people on the face if I get in trouble. That's fun.

Vince Ferguson:

That's fun. I heard Mike Tyson said, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.

Paul Bamba:

True.

Vince Ferguson:

But you have a plan and you like punching people in the face.

Paul Bamba:

Yeah. I don't mind getting hit too much so it's a win-win, it's a good outlet, it's a positive one. A lot of people think that boxing is just an animalistic thing, it's just like, kind of like, this is just machismo, I guess you can say, but it's not, it's a thinking man's game, you got to think and you got to be smart, and if you go in and fight all the time or you can box and be smart and not get hit too much, stay in great shape, sharpen your mind, help other people. That's why I love it.

Vince Ferguson:

So you are pretty successful now, but would you say that boxing is what brought to where you are today or was it other skills that you had?

Paul Bamba:

I think I'm charismatic, so that helps.

Vince Ferguson:

Yes.

Paul Bamba:

Obviously you got to be able to talk to people, but I ultimately know boxing saved my life. I truly believe I would not be ... I had a rough upbringing and I was kind of hardheaded, so I don't really think I'd be anywhere close to where I'm at had I not found boxing or had I not found the few people that they're still in my life, like Aaron Davis, he runs Morris Park Boxing Club, he's a former world champion, I still talk to this man all the time, even to this day, it's been about seven years now and he instilled in me just working hard and not giving up and being cool, stuff could be messed up, but if you're not giving up, you got to move forward. And so boxing did that for me because you're never going to perfect boxing. Mayweather's amazing but even he gets hit sometimes, you can learn something from anybody and the fact that it keeps me mentally sharp, I love that and it just gives me something to look forward to whether I'm winning or whether I'm helping somebody win, either way it's a win.

Vince Ferguson:

Wow. Are you boxing professionally now?

Paul Bamba:

Yeah. I've had three professional fights so far, I fight again, October 8th and then the 29th. So I'm staying a little bit busy. I like it a lot, it's fun. It's an experience. COVID made the dream happen, with not much else to do, it was easy to train and kind of like take that leap of faith and I did, so now I get to train people, which I love, and teach, because I'm more of a coach than a trainer I would say, a teacher, and I get to box. So it's a win-win, I'm living what I dreamed about when I was 25 because I put in the hard work and I stuck to it and I was consistent and I got up and ran on the days that I really didn't want to, I still do.

Vince Ferguson:

Just like a Marine.

Paul Bamba:

Yeah. And that's the thing, the hunger that's instilled in you as a Marine or maybe they brainwash you, I don't know, but it works and as long as you stick to it, that's it, consistency is key in life to anything that anybody does.

Vince Ferguson:

And yet you had role models too to help you, you said Aaron, what's his last name?

Paul Bamba:

Aaron Davis.

Vince Ferguson:

Yeah. How important are role models to you?

Paul Bamba:

I would say very important. I have three key people in my life that have molded the way I think and the way I approach things and they are all very, very different. [Guardia 00:13:19], he's pretty much my older brother to me. He was a captain in the Marine Corps too. He has helped me out, mentored me a lot. He works with me as well. And then this guy, Jason Harris, he's this marketing genius that he basically pushed me to move further, because at some point in life, I got complacent a few years ago and I was like, "My rent's paid now. I'm good. I can go to movies every once in a while. I'm comfortable. I'm cool where I'm at." And him and Guardia got me to dig deeper and got me to want more and actually showcase my talents, my skills and stuff like that.

Paul Bamba:

And I'm really glad they did because the way I live now is very much different, I can help a lot of people. I definitely enjoy myself and I wouldn't be here without any of those three people. If I didn't have all three of them, I wouldn't be where I'm at, they make the perfect Trifecta, if you will. They're all very much different.

Vince Ferguson:

Okay. And we're coming to that too. I'm glad you said that because you are the founder and the CEO of Trifecta Fitness, and you also, I was on your website, it mentions, join the Trifecta Movement. What does that mean to my audience? What does Trifecta Movement mean?

Paul Bamba:

So the Trifecta Movement, it's kind of how I explained how I am. So we go by sport, body and mind. So fitness, a lot of people think fitness is just their body or is just like playing sports, like just get in shape, look good and cool. That's not really it, you have to take care of your mental, you have to take care of your body, meaning recovery. So sport, body and mind, I try to embody all those three things at all times, meaning I'm working out, I'm making sure my mental health is good and I'm making sure I'm taking the time to recover, because everybody in life gets busy, but you want to make sure you're taking the time to keep yourself healthy, you're recovering fully and your mental is straight.

Paul Bamba:

You have time to meditate, yoga, stuff like that. So the Trifecta Movement to me personally, will just be being well-rounded, being well-rounded and not settling just for a six pack when you can have a six pack and a great mindset. You can have a six pack, a great mindset and we can fix any ailments you might have in your knee, your hips or something like that. It's all about taking care of self and trying to, I know you can't really be perfect, but if you aim for it, you can get pretty close and that's what it is for me.

Vince Ferguson:

Awesome, man. Awesome. So what type of fitness programs do you offer at Trifecta Fitness?

Paul Bamba:

So me personally, I do hit training and boxing, but like I said, I created a team, so I have a team of experts for everything. So what Trifecta offers, through sport, body and mind is, boxing, yoga, meditation, kickboxing, acupuncture and massage, there was one more, CrossFit, which is kind of like hit, weightlifting, anything fitness related we do, because a lot of fitness companies out there, they focus on just the aesthetic of how you look and just fitness, but you have to go somewhere else to take care of your body, to recover, to get your peace of mind back. And with us, you can do that all in one stop. And we have a special way, we [inaudible 00:16:47] classes to where you ... you're all hyped up obviously from running around but we have like a Trifecta cool down and includes breathing, a little bit of stretching, stuff like that.

Paul Bamba:

And then, you have to be open-minded to it and I wasn't at first, my brother got me into it a bit more, but it's really relaxing and it gives you clarity on what you're doing for the day, I would think if that's how you're approaching it, it all depends on your mindset and I think it makes for a better day. You're working out, you're doing what you need to, and then you're focused, small, small meditation because I don't know if everybody can meditate for 10 minutes, I know I would struggle with that.

Vince Ferguson:

Yes. I hear you. It's not easy. But once you do it, it makes a difference. Prior to the pandemic, most trainers were training their clients in-person but when the pandemic hit, you guys had to pivot and start doing a lot of online trainings. Do you guys offer online training at Trifecta Fitness?

Paul Bamba:

We do. One of the things that helped us out the most actually was, Peloton had an ungodly amount of classes that they were already doing because they were already digital, Trifecta for like the first six, seven months, which just helped us out so much, we're the only company that had 100 plus classes a month or a week I think it was, wasn't it? It was close to like, I think it was 40, 50 classes a week, so you had flavors, you could literally pick anything you wanted, a whole bunch of different instructors, and it was because we were already gearing towards pivoting to that way so we had kind of an idea what we wanted to do and it helped. Right now, within the next 45 to 60 days, we will be releasing our app and then you can just train from your phone, you either come in-person, come downtown or right on your phone. You'll have everything on your phone, whether it's Android, just get in the App Store.

Vince Ferguson:

Nice. Nice. This is something ... you created this app?

Paul Bamba:

Yeah. Well, I didn't do the tech stuff because I'm definitely not that smart, that's not for me, but we created the app, right now there's, I think we have almost over 500 documents and videos and stuff like that, pre-recorded, so you come in, you can pick somebody that you want to work out with. We have UFC fighters, we have professional boxers, we have CrossFit competitors, we have yoga, we have like literally everything. And it's all on one app and it's all for one little price rather than having to buy to a bunch of different things.

Vince Ferguson:

Wow. Guys, you guys are killing it. It's amazing.

Paul Bamba:

I'm trying to, that's the thing, I don't ... so our mission is more so to help people, we do a lot of charity and a lot of philanthropy. So a lot of what we do is women empowerment, so everything is geared towards trying to give back to that community, because, and especially in New York, not a lot of women feel safe walking to the train at night or anything like that and that's actually how I believe the year before the pandemic happened, how we started, we started with one of, her name is [Mia Keg 00:20:09] and we did this woman empowerment thing, to teach women self-defense and it just took off and we realized it was much more rewarding to have these women coming back to us and say, "Hey, I felt much more comfortable walking by myself last night." Than just to be charging people for a bunch of classes where people are just getting in shape, which is still cool, but like I said, as I'm growing, I'm more gear towards helping people and empowering those around me.

Vince Ferguson:

Yes. And I like how you mentioned women empowerment, that's so important. And do you train these women online or do you train them in-person?

Paul Bamba:

Both. So we have online, in-person, whatever people are comfortable with. Some people are more open-minded about meeting up in-person because of COVID. Some people are a bit more cautious about it. So it's all about comfortability because remember, we're trying to empower these people so we'll get the most out of them if they feel completely comfortable in the setting that they're in.

Vince Ferguson:

Can you train a woman to really feel empowered to be able to handle herself, especially here in New York City, after training with you, they feel that they can walk these streets at night if they have to or if they're confronted, they will be able to protect themselves, is that what you're saying?

Paul Bamba:

100%. So what we don't do, is we don't ... so defend yourself, yes, not fight. So I'm not going to tell you I'm going to train you to try to beat up a 200 pound guy coming after you, no. What we do is, we train to make sure we got good stamina, make sure you can deflect anything coming at you, strike if you need to and then get away. So it's not to stand there and be combative with somebody coming after you, it's to protect yourself, defend and then just leave and be safe. And that's mainly what we stress. We don't want anybody sticking around trying to get out with somebody, that's not the move.

Vince Ferguson:

That's not the move. That's not recommended.

Paul Bamba:

We don't want that.

Vince Ferguson:

What are some of your prices for online, for training in-person? What are some of your prices.

Paul Bamba:

Prices for online training, we have Trifecta at Home right now, it's about to switch because we're about to launch the app but it's 20 bucks a month. You get a few classes, a bunch of different instructors. If you're in New York and you're signed up for Trifecta at Home, we have a free class every Sunday at, I believe it's called Columbus Park and that's pretty much it. It's going to roll out into the app too where you get everything that you're currently paying for plus much, much more.

Vince Ferguson:

Wow. That's amazing. A free class every Sunday if you're in New York.

Paul Bamba:

A free class every Sunday if you're in New York and on top you can pretty much get over 100 classes a month online if you're just signed up for that home one. So if you just want to do Zooms, you don't want to interact with people, you're worried about COVID which is understandable, you just hit the Zoom button and turn it on and you could be frowning with everybody else on the screen and then we get busy.

Vince Ferguson:

Man, awesome. Awesome. So you do the group fitness training as well.

Paul Bamba:

Yes.

Vince Ferguson:

That's awesome, man. That's amazing. I love it. Now, this show is called Six Weeks To Fitness, if you had a client, if I gave you a client who was basically a couch potato, haven't worked out in years yet they want to get in shape but they want to get in shape six weeks, can you give me an idea of what type of fitness program would you put them on that would help them to reach that goal where they're in basically good shape within the six week time period.

Paul Bamba:

Yeah. So it would depend on the person's mentality, but I would start slow, finish hard because you don't want to start too fast and finish slow, the body breaks down after a while, but I'm big on consistency and regimen. One of the people actually did this last year around this time with Michaels, he's a comedian from Wild 'n Out, he lost 52 pounds in 30 days.

Vince Ferguson:

Oh nice.

Paul Bamba:

Yeah. And I think the only supplements we took were multivitamin and some fish oil because he has some rough needs and that was about it. And it was all about consistency, doing the right thing and then just making sure that you got up on the days you did not, because if you're a couch potato and you're starting off, you don't want to go to gym the second, third, fourth day in a row, you're kind of like, "I don't want to do this." So it's building that regimen, that routine, that's going to get you up because after that first week, second week's going to flow, third's going to be easier, fourth, fifth, finish on the sixth, you're back in shape, you're back to good health.

Vince Ferguson:

So this client that you work with, celebrity from Wild 'n Out, 52 pounds in 30 days?

Paul Bamba:

Yeah. He had a competition with a photographer, I think it's one of the videographers, his name's Cliff Prescott, he's very good videographer from the show as well, they had a competition. He had an NFL trainer and had a bunch of fancy stuff, he lost 26 pounds.

Vince Ferguson:

Really?

Paul Bamba:

Yeah. Rip had me, we just had some hard work and some grit, 52 pounds.

Vince Ferguson:

52 pounds.

Paul Bamba:

52 pounds. I'm big on hard work. I'm not big on starving people, you might eat as much as you want, whatever your input is, make sure your output is that much more and rest, that's all we did. Like I said, routine, routine to me since the Marine Corps has been everything, you stick to it and you have a plan, if it makes sense, when you're sitting down and you write it out, it'll still makes sense when you're going through it and it doesn't feel great. You just got to trust it. You got to trust yourself when you wrote it down.

Vince Ferguson:

Most definitely. And briefly, you just mentioned about calories and calories out. Do you talk about nutrition with your clients?

Paul Bamba:

Oh yeah. All the time. I don't press anything on them as far as strict diets or anything because I don't believe strict diets work, I think that you should cheat every once in a while on a meal, a meal, not a day, I don't agree with cheat days because you can lose a lot of progress in a day if you go crazy and you've been starving yourself, but if you want a milkshake, go drink the milkshake, but go jump rope for a half hour or something after that, that's where you make up for it. It shouldn't be a punishment or you shouldn't feel like you're punishing yourself as you're doing something. But we do nutrition plans, it's broken down to macros, to the ounces, to everything that you need. It really just depends on how deep people want to get into it because not everybody, including myself, I don't want to track everything they eat or weigh it all out, but yeah, we get into all of that, we make it a science.

Vince Ferguson:

Amazing. Awesome. Really awesome, man. Now, what do you tell a young guy who wants to be a CEO, an entrepreneur like yourself? What do you tell him to do? What do you tell him to think about when it comes to achieving those goals?

Paul Bamba:

I would say go with all your crazy ideas. I say that because, my brother Guardia thinks a lot of the stuff that I ... he had a full-time job, he was doing loss prevention and I forget what the proper term for it is, but he was the head of it for a bunch of Bloomingdale Stores, he's making six figures and I was saying, "You should quit and work with me and take less money. I promise we'll get you back to where you need to be." He didn't do it right away, he waited until he saw I was consistent with it and we just went with all my crazy ideas, whether it was, "Hey, we're going to rent out this gym." Or, "Hey, we're going to do this or we're going to go train this client, we're going to push this narrative or we're doing this."

Paul Bamba:

Just go with it. If it makes sense to you at one point and it makes you feel good, it's probably a really good idea. A lot of good ideas die because people think too much about them and they start to get watered down because they're like, "Maybe I should do this or maybe I should do that." No, just stick to your plan. You may get better on the go, you don't need to wait six, seven months for something that you could start up in two weeks, get out of the door running with it. Being mindful, don't get too crazy, my crazy ideas, they were a bit calculated, and don't take no for an answer and don't let anybody tell you that you can't do something. That's a driving factor for me. If I don't know something, I go out of my way to learn.

Paul Bamba:

So I will just say that. Be big on knowledge and be big on not taking no for an answer, and your crazy ideas are definitely your best ones so believe them and believe in yourself and don't backtrack even if your friends don't believe in it, because there's so much stuff that I've done that people thought was crazy or wouldn't work and I'm petty sometimes, so I constantly laugh about, "Hey, remember when you said this, I told you so." Like I pointed out, because if you really believe something's going to work, it's going to work, I live my life like that every day. If I know I could do something, obviously I don't think I can fly, so I'm not jumping off buildings and stuff like that, but if I think I could ... like we just raised, I think we raised over $300,000 to send 100 kids to summer camp this past summer and we did it in less than a month.

Paul Bamba:

And everybody was going crazy and I didn't have the most experience in comparison to them at the time but I was like, "No, this could work." I was like, "This will work. We got to go. Everybody's going to attack different stuff. This is going to work. We're sending these kids to camp, let's do it." And then we did it and it was great and it was a very short timeframe, so we had to work. But if you're willing to work hard, your crazy ideas aren't that crazy. They only sound crazy if you don't have the little things in between of what you need to do to get to the next step of that crazy idea in my mind.

Vince Ferguson:

Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Powerful, man. You inspire me just hearing you talk like that my brother.

Paul Bamba:

Oh, I appreciate it.

Vince Ferguson:

Thank you, bro. Now, how can people find out more about Paul Bamba and Trifecta Fitness?

Paul Bamba:

If you want to find out about me, I guess just ask or Google works, my Instagram is @bambajuice, B-A-M-B-J-U-I-C-E. Kind of like Jamba Juice, [inaudible 00:30:43], they stole it from me.

Vince Ferguson:

They stole it from you-

Paul Bamba:

And then our website, for those who want to check out the classes or anything like that, trifectastrong.com and then there's a blog there every Friday if you want fitness tips and tricks and stuff like that, it's called Ask Bamba and I'm constantly giving out free game and trying to help as many people as I can. That's it.

Vince Ferguson:

Beautiful, man. Beautiful, Paul Bamba, on behalf of Body Sculpt of New York, my nonprofit and Six Weeks To Fitness, I truly want to thank you for coming on this show today.

Paul Bamba:

Thank you for having me. I appreciate it. This was good.

Vince Ferguson:

Oh man, you're the best. And to my listening audience and viewing audience, I truly hope this program was informative, inspiring, encouraging and you will continue tuning in to our Six Weeks To Fitness program. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and don't forget to subscribe Six Weeks to Fitness or email me at vince@sixweeks.com, so you don't miss any other future episodes and don't forget, let's get ready, get set and let's get fit with Paul Bamba from Trifecta Fitness.

 

Direct download: Episode_176_Paul_Bamba_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:14pm EST