Whether he's whipping up an egg-packed early-riser breakfast, serving a skillet full of gold rush chicken breast, or teaching you how to make the most of your money with a healthy grocery list, Kevin Curry lives up to his online alias of FitMenCook—the go-to source for healthy, protein-rich eats that break free from boring while still fueling your gains.
But Kevin wasn't always a guru in the kitchen. As a self-proclaimed "chubby, skinny kid"—yes, the two can go together!—he spent most of his life battling a love-hate relationship with food. In fact, it wasn't until after grad school that Kevin realized he was trying in vain to out-train an unhealthy diet.
"I was going back between different trainers, and they were putting me on these cookie-cutter diets of chicken breast, broccoli, green beans, and brown rice," Curry recalls. "I wanted to choke somebody after four weeks of eating basically the same thing." His conclusion was simple: "I didn't know how to eat for me."
Determined to find the right diet for him, Curry dove into books on nutrition, tweaked his meals, and started sharing his journey—every single meal of it—on a Tumblr blog. But what started as a hobby quickly attracted a strong community. "After my workouts, I'd find myself up till 12 or 1 a.m. just answering questions and going back and forth", he says. "I loved the fact that I found people who loved food and who were talking about healthy eating and giving each other tips and advice."
From there, FitMenCook was born. Check out the backstory on Kevin's inspiring journey.
While you might be used to seeing him in the kitchen, Curry puts in hard work at the gym, too. Check out the "Lucky 7 Workout" that helped fuel his own transformation. "You will love this workout, and it will kick your butt," he promises.
The workout is titled "Lucky 7" because you're going to be doing seven different exercises for 7 reps. There's only one rule: Your hands can never leave the barbell. Catch your breath for a maximum of 15 seconds between exercises and 90 seconds between rounds.
If you're a beginner, complete 3 rounds. If you're intermediate, do 4 rounds. If you're advanced, go for 5. No matter which you choose, Curry swears you'll feel the burn.
"You may have to use your hips a little bit to get the weight up if you're using higher weight, but remember to keep that form intact," Curry advises. But don't let that momentum get out of control, and keep the bar close to your body as you raise it. Remember, your elbows should drive the upward motion and stay higher than your forearms during the movement.
Curry is OK with allowing a little push-press-style dip in his military press, especially when the weights get heavy. But that's no excuse to let basic press form go out the window. That means straight forearms, tight elbows, and no cheating with the lower back. Keep your abs tight, and move the weight powerfully.
Now comes the hard part. "Flip that bar behind your neck, and drop it like it's hot with squats," Curry says. Keep your torso as upright as possible, keep your weight in your heels, and don't pass out. After all, you're not even halfway done!
The good morning can be a daunting exercise, but Curry advises against trying to remember too many form cues. "Keep this simple, and just push your hips back," he says. When you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, keep your back safely arched, and extend your hips with your glutes and hamstrings on the way back up.
"At this point, your heart is going to be racing," Kevin promises. But it's not time to stop just yet. Catch your breath, and get ready for one of his favorite moves: fighter-stance squats. For this exercise, take a staggered stance, with one foot slightly angled in front of the other. Then, drop low into a squat. Complete 7 reps on each side.
What's better than following squats with—you guessed it—more squats? Get ready to feel the burn with this full-body exercise that combines squats and behind-the-neck presses. "When you're at the very top, push up with all your might, and get that bar above your head," says Curry. Drop it down, then drop down low again, for a total of 8 reps." Note that he resets the bar on his back before each squat rep.
For the final exercise, flip the bar over to the front and get started on Romanian deadlifts. "Keep it really simple, and just go past the knee."
Advanced Lifter Challenge
Think you're up for an extra challenge? Tackle this workout pyramid-style, and get ready to feel the burn. Do this by incrementally increasing your weight each round until the third round, which will be your heaviest round. Once you've pushed through, drop the weight back down for rounds 4 and 5.