Do you ever envision yourself in the starring role in a Bond flick?
You would need:
- A Vesper martini
- An expertly tailored suit
- A beautiful woman on your arm
- An Aston Martin DB5
- And an absolutely ripped physique.
While we can’t promise you a new car or more appeal with the ladies, there are certainly a few tricks we’ve got up our sleeves when it comes to helping you get buff.
There have been many well-known actors in history who decided to play Bond. Pierce Brosnan, George Lazenby, Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton are just a few notable examples.
Major titles in the Bond franchise included Live and Let Die (1973), The Man With the Golden Gun (1974), A View to a Kill (1985) and Goldfinger (1964). Based on Ian Fleming’s novels, Bond girls like Halle Berry and Diana Rigg were also celebrated for phenomenal physiques.
But after starring in Casino Royale (2006),Daniel Craig is the Bond whose physique no one could stop talking about.
If you want to know how Daniel Craig got in shape for the James Bond films, lock in and continue reading for some 007-approved fitness hacks. Let’s find out what the Daniel Craig James Bond workout is all about.
How Does Daniel Craig Train?
Daniel Craig trains with personal trainer Simon Waterson.
Waterson is somewhat of a Bond secret weapon: he’s been training Bond actors and Bond girls for over 22 years. So when Daniel Craig took over the role, Waterson was already familiar with the types of routines that he might need to work on.
A lot of the Bond training is script-related. Simon Waterson and Daniel Craig would go over the elements of the script to see when Bond would have to sprint, chase after criminals, or get into hand-to-hand combat.
Understanding plot elements and how Bond’s body would need to be able to keep up is an essential part of getting the training right.
Here are a few of the main components behind Daniel Craig’s Bond training routine:
First off, one of the biggest elements to being an action hero is always being able to stay on your toes. You never know when a new danger or foe might crop up in your midst.
You always have to stay ready. To work on agility, Waterson and Craig used a lot of training with resistance bands and athletic cone workouts where Craig would have to complete obstacle courses running through the cones.
Soccer and football players also use this type of training. This helps them so they can get ready for the game with a lot of twists turns and stop and start motions.
Next, Waterson stayed away from restrictive diets when it came to training Craig. No foods were entirely off limits, but Craig did make sure to limit alcohol and greasy foods.
The diet focused instead on small meals with lots of varieties. Kimchi was a staple in Daniel Craig’s 007 diet with things like sourdough bread as a healthy carb for breakfast.
The Bond diet cycled between plant-based meals and lean protein options. Craig would often allegedly eat several smaller meals a day to be able to keep his energy up for a role requiring constant energy.
No matter how often you eat or how many meals, make sure you are getting enough lean protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats to optimize your macronutrient intake.
If you think you’re low in an essential dietary component or feel ready to take a nap after working out, creatine and protein powder are some supplements you can take to increase your energy levels and improve athletic performance.
For Casino Royale, Craig focused mostly on strength training and powerlifting exercises.
Finally, in his Quantum of Solace training routine, Waterson helped Craig to master his cardio exercise. Waterson focused on designing heavy compound lifts for Craig that would not only work his strength, but get his heart rate up at the same time.
Evidence supports the idea that muscle quality (not just muscle mass) is a key determinant of muscular function and mobility for older adults.
Muscles that can better use oxygen can help you maintain your health at older ages. The aerobic capacity of your muscles to use oxygen effectively can start to decline around age 50, though. So it was important for someone like Daniel Craig in his mid-fifties to combine his strength with a cardio element for efficiency.
Daniel Craig Bond Workout Plan
For a similar workout to Daniel Craig’s James Bond, we have a combination of strength, agility, and endurance exercises.
Take a look at a few potential moves you can incorporate into your workout routines to get big like Bond.
Pull-ups are one of the best ways to get strong quickly. This move requires you to fully support your body weight just hanging from your arms.
Set yourself up by a pull-up bar. Grab the bar in an overhand grip with your arms slightly wider than shoulder width. Engage your back muscles to pull your chin up and over the bar.
If you’re a beginner, there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to do a full pull up and that’s okay. Assisted pull-ups are just as effective for newbies. For an assisted variation, attach a resistance band to your pull-up bar and hook your foot or knee into the band to take some weight out of your lift.
The weight listed on your resistance band is the amount of weight you’ll take out of your lift.
Say you weigh 160 lb. If you use a 60 lb resistance band in your pull-up, you’re only lifting 100 lb of your weight.
Make sure to train your pull-ups with perfect form. Once you feel comfortable with a certain resistance band weight, and you can do at least three sets of 10 reps comfortably, begin to reduce the assistance in your lift. Keep working at this move until you can do full pull-ups with no assistance.
Pro tip: For experienced lifters, add a weight belt or plate so your pull-ups feel extra heavy. This is a great way to challenge your muscles for strength and hypertrophy.
Pylon Obstacle Course
One of the key things about being James Bond is that he always gets himself out of a situation in a pinch. This requires agility and adaptability.
For an outdoor workout, you can train these qualities using an obstacle course with cones. This workout will help you get a burn in your legs and work your agility skills. Simply set up two rows of staggered pylons. You can make the rows as long or as short as you’d like depending on your preference.
Weaving in and out of the cones, sprint quickly from one end to the other of your course. You may even want to challenge a friend for fun. Set up two rows of cones side by side and see who can make it out quicker. Adding some friendly competition to your workout will help to push you. It can be a huge motivator if you feel too lazy to work out.
Sprint training or agility work with pylon courses or ladders with a plyometric element (for example, including some kind of jump in your course) was determined to be one of the best pro-agility training techniques. So make sure to get creative with your moves!
Lunges are one of the most versatile moves to train with your bodyweight or using equipment for leg strength. James Bond certainly would not skip leg day!
To do a lunge, start by standing straight with your feet together. Step forward with one foot, lowering your body until both knees form 90-degree angles.
Keep your upper body straight and your chest lifted as you bring your body downward. Push off with your front foot to come back to your starting position, then repeat on the other foot. Make sure your front knee doesn’t extend beyond your toes.
Research indicates that dumbbells can be the most accessible lunge equipment for beginners, while people recovering from injuries may fare better with weighted vests.
Barbells are also an option, so experiment and see what best suits your lunge. You can also do squats and lunges with resistance bands.
Incline Dumbbell Presses
The incline dumbbell press is one of the best moves you can do for a bigger more defined chest. We know Daniel Craig as James Bond has perfect pectorals. So if your chest isn’t as big or as defined as you like it, the dumbbell press can help you build in this area.
To do an incline dumbbell press, grab a weight bench and set it up at a 45° angle. Grab two heavy dumbbells.
If you have some lifting experience aim for about half your weight. For beginners, start with any weight that you’re comfortable with and slowly work your way up every time you train this move.
Grab one dumbbell in each hand bending your elbows to bring them to rest on either side of your chest.
Push your hands up and overhead extending and straightening your elbows. Bring your dumbbells to meet in the middle of the move at the top. They should hover over the center of your chest.
Hold for a moment, then slowly bend into the elbows to bring the weights down and back to your sides.
Repeat for as many reps as you need. If you’re a new lifter, try three to four sets of 8 to 12 reps with medium weight. If you have more experience or you’re lifting strictly for strength, aim for three sets of five heavier reps.
Not only do we know Bond for his fantastic agility and athleticism. He’s also famous for broad shoulders, a strong chest, and killer arm muscles.
To hit all these muscle groups at once and work your core stability, try some traditional, decline or incline push-ups.
Using your strength, lower your body down. Bend the elbows and keep them 45° away from your body, bringing your body to hover over the floor.
Keep your palms spread wide and hands in towards your ribs in the lower portion of the move. Push yourself back to the starting position. Aim for 3-4 sets of 10 reps.
If you’re doing the incline variation, perform this move with your hands elevated on a weight bench. If you’re doing the decline, elevate your feet instead. Both these versions are easier than traditional push-ups.
Do you think you could play 007 in the future? Popular actors like Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Idris Elba, and Jacob Elordi are all rumored contenders for future Bonds. We think with their fitness levels, any one of these actors would be a shoo-in.
That being said, if you follow some of these strategies, maybe it could be your face up next on the big screen.
To recap, in your training, focus on a combination of strength, cardio, and agility moves. Although you may not be starring in any Hollywood movies anytime soon, think about performance-based workouts.
For example, if you’re planning a 10k race or a weightlifting competition, aim to train specific moves that will prepare you for your goals, rather than just going in blind.
Daniel Craig Training Techniques
In summary, a combination of agility-based cardio like short sprints or cone workouts, and moves for raw power and strength can give you a great balance of different types of training to improve your overall athletic ability.
More varied training usually leads to better overall athleticism. Not only this, but training multiple components of your fitness will also probably lead to a more aesthetic physique.
Think about it, if you only train one body part or one technique, you may see growth there, but the rest of your body will be lacking balance.
If you want to build a body like 007 or another superpowered action hero like Spiderman, it’s going to take a lot of work and many different training styles.
The rewards, though, are more than worth the effort. And hey! maybe you’ll even be able to work yourself up to a hulking mass of muscles with a Greek god-style physique like the Gladiators in 300.
So, lift heavy, focus on your agility, and dial in your diet. Make sure to get a good balance of cardio and free weights in your training sessions for balance and to decrease risk of injury.
You should start to see big screen-ready gains in no time.
To track your progress at every step, the Flex app lets you store all of your PRs, one-rep maxes, weight data and more in one safe place. Plus, get inspired workouts, whether you’re looking to train like a film superstar, or just to get a little bit better than you were yesterday.
The Flex app is as goal-oriented as you are. Try it for free or explore our blog and start achieving your fitness goals quicker.
Forster, J. W. D., Uthoff, A. M., Rumpf, M. C., & Cronin, J. B. (2023). Training to Improve Pro-Agility Performance: A Systematic Review. Journal of human kinetics, 85, 35–51. https://doi.org/10.2478/hukin-2022-0108
Gao, L., Lu, Z., Liang, M., Baker, J. S., & Gu, Y. (2022). Influence of Different Load Conditions on Lower Extremity Biomechanics during the Lunge Squat in Novice Men. Bioengineering (Basel, Switzerland), 9(7), 272. https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering9070272
Krzysztofik, M., Wilk, M., Wojdała, G., & Gołaś, A. (2019). Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review of Advanced Resistance Training Techniques and Methods. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(24), 4897. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16244897
McGregor, R. A., Cameron-Smith, D., & Poppitt, S. D. (2014). It is not just muscle mass: a review of muscle quality, composition and metabolism during ageing as determinants of muscle function and mobility in later life. Longevity & healthspan, 3(1), 9. https://doi.org/10.1186/2046-2395-3-9
Venn B. J. (2020). Macronutrients and Human Health for the 21st Century. Nutrients, 12(8), 2363. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082363