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He’s been the go-to guy for editorials in the likes of Details and GQ, sits at the top of plenty of industry lists, and has scored countless campaigns since his start in the business just shy of decade ago, but Russian-born, Coney Island-raised model Arthur Kulkov is more than the face you see within the pages of magazines. The soccer-aficionado and self-professed American Ninja Warrior fan balances his career in fashion with the grounding catharsis of a fit lifestyle. Here, we talk to Kulkov about keeping in shape, hotel gyms, and the benefits of life’s little obstacles.
What role does fitness play in your life?
Huge role! I need to have contact to any sport on daily basis. I don't think I’d be able to operate without any sort of activities--but of course there are days like that, and I feel it in my bones when I'm slacking. I grew up playing all different sports just to put my energy into something. It still continues in a way.
How do you find time for fitness when you’re traveling?
Well, hotel gyms after work usually do justice. A local park for runs is also not a bad way.
Do you have a particular workout routine?
Not really a routine. It depends on the gym and where I'm at. But usually most of my work is on core exercises. They say everything starts from the core.
Would you rather be in the gym or pounding the pavement outside?
I love being outside on the bars in spring and summer. My hideaway place is the gym in winter.
Best food when you’re taking your workout seriously:
Oatmeal, fruits, juices, fish.
Best food when you’re taking your workout not-so-seriously:
Croissants, pizza, burgers, desserts.
What’s your favorite form of exercise and why?
I can’t concentrate on one particular thing. Everything gets old for me so I always have to find a way to keep it fresh. Mostly, I play soccer, which is the ultimate for me. I love pull-up bars, football, and basketball, as well. I don't really stand on one thing.
We hear you’re a fan of American Ninja Warrior. Tell us more.
Yes, big fan. Ran the obstacle course twice so far. I saw the original Japanese show way back, then American Ninja started so I got hooked on that. The thing that I like about ANW is that you’re competing against yourself in a way. What you have to offer is what is going to happen most of the time--there is no luck involved there. I love the fact that it's quick little obstacles that keep you on point at all times.