Saul Braco, a native of the Basque Country in the north of Spain, tells Yummy all about his origins and passions, how he got into the modeling industry, as well as his passions, ambitions in life, and plans for the future, without forgetting to touch on yummy topics like his view of nudity, his first experience shooting naked for Yummy and how he keeps his relationships interesting and hot.
Photostory by Sasha Olsen interview by Adrian Gomis Exposito
The images is cropped / made safe for online purposes, full images available inside Yummy Issue Six
I believe you were born in the Basque Country in Spain but you now live between Barcelona and Ibiza. How was your life in your hometown and why did you move to Barcelona?
I have always loved the Basque Country, the people, the language, and the food - it has always been and will always be my home. In fact, I always try to go back on special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas to visit my family and friends. But since I left home at the age of 18 to study abroad, I realized how much I enjoyed traveling and I knew I wasn’t going to move back there. After finishing my studies, a very good photographer friend of mine told me to move to Barcelona because he thought I could work in the fashion world and that's where it all started.
You are a model but also a personal trainer and dietitian. First of all, how and when did you start modeling? How did your interest in modeling begin?
My first contact with fashion was through the contest that the Elite Model Look agency organizes every year in Spain and later all over the world. One day, when I was 21, I was studying in the university library when I saw an advert on Facebook looking for models. The contest was being held in Salamanca, a city well known for its university parties, which was two hours away from where I lived. I was curious to know what it was all about and I decided to go and spend the weekend with a friend to go out and party and enter the contest. We were both shortlisted and soon after we were sent to Barcelona for the semi-finals of the contest. That's where I met Alejandro Brito, the photographer who was covering the event and who I mentioned earlier. He was the one who recommended I finished my studies first and then move to Barcelona to find an agency.
Regarding fitness and nutrition, did that come before or after becoming a professional model? Tell us your story about this.
It started much earlier. When I was 18, I left home to study Physical Activity and Sport Sciences in a city in the north of Spain called León. I studied there for 3 years and in the fourth year, I went to Bologna, Italy, because I wanted to learn Italian. My passion for nutrition came a bit later. As I learned more about the human body and training, I realized the importance of nutrition in performance and health and I decided to study it. I have always said that the human body is the only "home" in which one is born and dies. The knowledge in nutrition, training, psychology, and other human sciences makes us know how to take care of and respect this "house" much more.
Have you always been passionate about fitness and training? How important is that part of your life for you right now?
Sport has always been a part of my life. I played football for many years in my hometown and then I switched to martial arts. I've tried everything: MMA, boxing, grappling, kickboxing, and Muay Thai, and I love it! In the last few years, I've had to put them aside a bit because of photo shoots and work, but I always put my gloves back on whenever I can. As for the importance of training in my life, today I would say it is vital. Physical exercise helps me disconnect from the rest of the world and the problems that surround me on a daily basis. I like to train both alone and with others and I try to do it at least 5-6 times a week.
Do you follow any strict workout routines or diets to keep in shape? Talk us through them if you do.
Not really. After so many years of training, I know very well what feels good and what doesn't, and I try to keep a balance at all times. For example, if I see that during a week I've been eating out a lot of days and eating heavier meals, I try to do a bit more exercise and keep calories in check for the next 4-5 days. I like to combine 4 days of weights with 2 days of CrossFit or more aerobic workouts (football games, boxing, climbing), it's not all about the weights! But beyond that, I don't have anything specific, I change the exercises of my workouts every month/month and a half.
I’ve also seen that you enjoy traveling quite a lot. What’s the best destination you’ve been to and which are on your bucket list?
I love it! Travel is knowledge and must always be part of my life. The most beautiful place I've been to because of its culture and the way the people are was Bali – I'm in love with that country! As for my bucket list, I wouldn't know where to start. If it was up to me, I'd be like Willy Fogg! I have so many destinations yet to visit, but I would start with Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
Would you consider yourself an active and lively person who enjoys life to its fullest?
Yes, I’m a great advocate of “carpe diem” and the importance of doing what you like and what makes you happy. There is only one life and it's all very well to work and grow professionally and personally, but you always have to enjoy the journey.
You shot a wonderful story for Yummy Issue Six with Sasha Olsen. How do you feel about the results?
I'm very happy to have been able to shoot with Sasha for such a special magazine as Yummy. It's the first nude shoot I've done in my life and I couldn't have chosen a better magazine and photographer. Beyond being a good photographer, he is a person who listens to you, helps you, and tries to bring out the best version of you.
What’s it like for you to see yourself in such incredible photos in the magazine? Are you excited about being part of this issue?
Definitely yes! As I said before, it was my first nude on camera and I knew I wanted it to be in Yummy. I knew about the magazine from several friends in the fashion industry who had already appeared in it and I'm very happy that they gave me the opportunity to be in it!
What’s something that makes you feel sexy and handsome? Do you enjoy that feeling?
Of course, I like it, I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't. I think we all like to look good and to be liked.
How do you feel about nudity? Is it something that bothers you or is it something that might be appealing sometimes, depending on the situation?
I think the human body is one of the most beautiful things in the world and we have to start seeing it as such, as something natural, instead of making it a taboo. Everyone is free to do what they want with their body and if you decide to show it to the world because you are happy with it, you like it and you feel good about yourself, you are free to do so. I like the way society is moving forward and the idea that there is more and more freedom in this sense.
How important would you say is having fun during intimate times with your partner? Do you think it’s something necessary or something you couldn’t live without?
It’s vital in my relationship. Sex is pleasure, passion, fun, and connection with your partner. A very important part of any relationship is that you have to take care of and practice continuously, and please, don't fall into monotony! Dare to try new things, sexual positions, erotic toys, and different places… make it wonderful, and don’t be boring!
Your physique is stunning and you look really confident. For you, what’s the key to being confident and showing the best version of yourself?
To love and accept yourself as you are, with your virtues and your defects. We often make the mistake of comparing ourselves with others and instead of taking positive things out of it and trying to grow, we make ourselves smaller. I believe that one of the keys to being the best version of yourself is to accept yourself as you are and to know how to enhance the virtues that make you different from the rest.
Which has been the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
There are many that accompany me in my day-to-day life, but one of the ones I like the most is: failure is not a failure until you give up.
To conclude, what does the future hold for you or what do you expect from it?
As I have said before, I’m a big fan and advocate of "Carpe diem" and I try to focus more on the present rather than the future. As long as it brings health to me and my loved ones, that's good enough for me. I will take care of giving color to life and enjoying what is to come. For the moment, I’m going to Cape Town for the months of January, February, and March. I liked it so much last year that I decided to go again. After that? No one knows.
Yummy Issue 6
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