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Once an underweight nerd who was into video games, computers and anything technology related, is now a fit nerd who is still into those things with the gym being thrown into the mix. Hello everyone! My name is Michaell Cullum, I’m 29 years old. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Programming and Information Systems with a concentration in Cisco Networking. My hobbies include: cooking, eating healthy foods, going to the gym, DC and Marvel Superhero’s, watching anime, and of course exploring technology.
Growing up, I was a very active child; I would ride my bike around the neighborhood, I played baseball for the village of Hempstead, and stayed outdoors until the street lights came on. As I grew older, I stopped being as active. I had begun to develop a love for technology and all the complexities associated with it. My first experience with using a computer was in grade school and not soon after, my family bought one for the house. I was fascinated with how computers worked, enhancement features, and the latest devices on the market. Technology consumed so much of my time; I eventually became a hermit throughout my educational years. To further add, I also didn’t care about what foods I was consuming. I was eating fast food and a lot of processed foods. Surprisingly, I remained skinny! This unhealthy lifestyle continued to my second year in college.
I remember the day I went to the doctor’s office for a checkup. She told me that I was underweight and that my cholesterol was high. She suggested that I start lifting weights and eating healthier. I didn’t think too much of it at the time because I just didn’t see myself going to the gym. I have had people tell me that “I need to eat” and that I’m “skinny”. This also contributed to me staying indoors all the time. I was ashamed of my body. Until one day, I decided enough was enough!
In 2009, I decided to take a stand and do something about my body situation. I began researching articles online about bodybuilding, bulking up, and supplements. I was very serious about my endeavors, so I purchased an adjustable bench along with an Olympic weight set. My first official gym was my home gym in my basement. Little by little I started adding things like a squat rack, a dip station and attachable accessories, such as a preacher curl attachment for my bench. Once my family, friends, and more importantly myself started seeing results, I became addicted.
My diet, supplementation and training regimen is pretty simple. I stay away from processed foods, GMO’s, and trans fats. Currently, I’m eating eggs, salmon, chicken, lean ground turkey, sweet potatoes, oats, brown rice, jasmine rice, quinoa, broccoli and green beans. I weigh my foods and eat 5 – 6 times a day. I also make sure I drink a gallon of water a day. My supplementation stack includes whey protein, creatine, fish oil, multivitamins and branch chain amino acids (BCAA’s). I train 6 times a week, hitting each body part two times per week. I do cardio for forty minutes a day, five times a week after my workout routine. My favorite body part to train is chest. When I first began training my chest was my biggest weakness; now it’s one of my strongest features!
Since I began my fitness journey, I had thoughts about becoming a fitness model. I used to read Reps, Men’s Health and Muscle and Fitness magazines. I thought to myself “It would be cool if I can be on the cover of fitness magazines one day!” Since then, I’ve always dreamed of becoming a fitness model. Whether it’s just one cover or 100 covers, I will try and make it on to a fitness or bodybuilding magazine! I’ve been told by numerous people that I have the “look” to be a model! I believe I do too and I want to put that theory to the test!
On July 23, 2017, I received a message from John on Facebook about a photo shoot opportunity. I thought to myself that this would be the perfect opportunity to put the theory of me being a male fitness model to the test. John made preparations for the photo shoot very easy! Leading up to the shoot, John and I were communicating quite often through text, phone calls and email. He made sure that I was 110% ready for my photo shoot by providing travel information, tanning suggestions and monitoring my physique with progress pictures to make sure I wasn’t slacking in the gym!
August 20, 2017 was the big day! This was my first official one-on-one photo shoot. My experience during the photo shoot was very fun and demanding at the same time in a good way. When we arrived at the site, John began recording my body measurements, after that, the photo shoot session began. The first part of the photo shoot was fashion. I was a little bit worried because I’d never really practice the male model poses. When the fashion shoot was over, my reaction when I saw the photos was very surprising! I was speechless! That’s how excellent the photos were! With John’s clear and precise instructions, he made me look like a top male model who’s been in the industry for years!
Following the fashion shoot, we proceeded to do the fitness shoot. This is where the demanding part comes in. When doing a pose, I had to be in a flexed state for a short period of time using resistance bands while John used two different cameras. John also recorded videos while I had to remain in a flexed state. This was not only fun, but also a learning experience. I learned the endurance capabilities my body can handle during a photo shoot and what colors worked best for me.
After the fitness shoot, we relocated to Mansfield Hollow Lake. This was one of my favorite parts of the shoot, because this is where I did the bodybuilding poses. Upon reviewing the pictures, I thought that I looked like a legit bodybuilder from the classic 1980’s bodybuilding era. I didn’t know my body looked that great when wearing the classic white shorts. Once again with John’s guidance, I was able to perform bodybuilding poses like a pro! This may have sparked the idea of me competing in Classic Physique down the road thank to John.
The next location on the list was the waterfall located within the park. The goal this time was to take pictures while standing both in front and under the waterfall. At first, I was a bit skeptical about taking pictures while sitting under the waterfall. Then again, I thought to myself that it would also be very cool! After all, how often does one get a picture of themselves taken while they’re sitting under a waterfall? With John’s encouragement and me being more open minded, I decided to do it! I’m glad I did! The photos turned out great as expected!
The final location was at the ball park. The theme of this shoot was a combination of fitness and fashion. I was excited because I was able to wear both my sleeveless shirt and hoodie. Not only that, I was pumping up using resistance bands and calisthenics after I ate a big meal. The outcome of this was a much fuller physique. This part of the photo shoot was a bit tricky because there were much more clouds in the sky than the previous sessions. The way John manipulates the sunlight in order to get the best photos is amazing!
In closing, I would like to take this time to thank John for everything that he’s done! Working with John of BBpicscom was an awesome experience! He is very professional, meticulous and passionate about the work that he does. I know just by working with him my dreams of becoming a fitness model will come true. If anyone out there is reading this I would highly recommend that you book a session with John. You will not be disappointed!
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