The Playbook For The Modern Man

Daniel Craig’s Bond Workout Reveals How You Can Be Just Like 007

Women, cars, and martinis optional.

When you’re portraying one of the most famous characters of all time, and you want to be remembered for the role, you’re going to want a jaw-dropping onscreen presence (not to mention an ability to act, of course). That seems to have been the mantra for Daniel Craig at least, who stunned the world following the release of Casino Royale in 2006 wearing those blue swim trunks.

But while some fixated on the man’s golden gun, others noticed just how built ‘new Bond’ was. Previous actors to portray the MI6 agent were more dad-bod, hairy chest and all, but not so with Daniel Craig. Throughout his 13-year stint as Great Britain’s most famous spy, Craig has had to keep his body in top physical condition so he can actually look like he’s able to take the beatings he does, and he’s been able to do so with help from personal trainer Simon Waterson.

Speaking previously about the regime he drew up, Waterson explained that he got Daniel to train for 45 minutes a day, five times a week, with ‘active rest’ days on the weekend. This means he wasn’t able to lay in bed all day, but rather perform stretches and go for swims. In order to give Craig his broad shoulders and tough-man appearance, a lot of Waterson’s workouts revolved around powerlifting, with compound exercises.

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An example five-day workout similar to Daniel’s would look something like this, according to Pop Workouts:

Monday  – Power Circuit

3 sets, 8-10 reps/set. Rest after each full circuit.

  • Clean & jerk
    • A move carried out with a weighted barbell. The ‘clean’ movement requires you to lift the bar off the floor. First, bend at the hips – similar to a deadlift movement – then bring the bar up so that it sits across the front of your shoulders (resting on your collarbone). You then want to squat slightly to help you power the bar above your head for the ‘jerk’. You want to finish with your arms straight up and your legs straight too.
  • Weighted step-ups
    • A simple movement of stepping up on a box or platform, alternating the leg you start with. Add weight by holding a kettlebell or some dumbbells.
  • Weighted knee raises
    • This move requires you to start by hanging from a pull-up bar. You then need to bring your knees up so that they’re at a 90-degree angle. Add weight by holding a dumbbell in between your feet.
  • Incline push-ups
    • Similar to regular push-ups, but instead you’ll want to place your hands on a slightly raised platform or a bench.
  • Barbell bicep curls
    • Get a straight barbell with weight applied. Start with your arms straight down in front and use your biceps to curl it upwards, keeping your arms close to your body.

Tuesday – Chest & Back

4 sets, 8-10 reps/set

  • Incline bench press
    • Similar to a regular bench/barbell price, but instead you’ll want to put the bench at an incline to help target your upper chest muscle.
  • Incline push-ups
    • Similar to regular push-ups, but instead you’ll want to place your hands on a slightly raised platform or a bench.
  • Pull-ups
    • Using a pull-up bar, choose a grip (wide, inside lat or bicep) and then pull yourself up to that your head goes above the bar. For a detailed breakdown, check out Conor McGregor’s helpful advice.
  • Incline pec-flys
    • Using an incline bench again, grab a set of dumbbells. Start with both arms up in front of you, then lower them down so that they’re perpendicular with the floor, before returning to the start position.
  • Seated cable-rows
    • This move requires a dedicated cable row machine. Adjust the weight and choose a handle attachment. The most popular is a V-shape, but you can use a wide-hand grip too to target different areas of your back.

Wednesday – Legs

4 sets, 8-10 reps/set

  • Back squats
    • Using a squat rack or Smith machine, place a barbell across your shoulders. Squat down, making sure to your knees above your toes (you don’t want them to go over) and your upper body as upright as possible. You want your knees to move outwards as you squat down, while keeping your feet in the same position.
  • Barbell deadlifts
    • An incredibly effective move that requires good form. Hinge at your knees and feet to grab the bar, then hinge back, keeping your back straight and making sure your knees don’t go over your toes. Power your body upright, making sure to generate the power through your heels and to keep your core tight. Finally, finish in a standing position, pushing your hips forward into the bar and squeezing your bum. Reverse the steps to bring the bar back down the ground safely.
  • Hamstring curls
    • This move requires the use of a leg curl machine. Lie face down, positioning yourself so that the pad sits slightly above your ankle. Lift up until your lower leg is at right angles to your thighs.
  • Lunges
    • A simple movement that requires you to step forward with one leg and lower yourself down so that the trailing knee almost touches the ground. You can step backwards instead to make the move a little more difficult.
  • Leg raises
    • Lying on your back on the floor, keep your legs together and lift them up as high as you can, keeping your core tight.

Thursday – Shoulder & Arms

4 sets, 8-10 reps/set

  • Dips
    • This move targets your triceps. Using a box, platform, bench or chair positioned behind you, place your hands on it with your arms straight and your body stretched out. Bend your elbows to dip down and push up using your trcieps.
  • Lateral raises
    • A shoulder exercise that requires a set of dumbbells. You can be standing up straight or bent at the hips, and lift the dumbbells out to your sides, keeping your arms extended.
  • Shoulder press
    • You can either use a dedicated shoulder press machine or a sit on a bench or a chair with back support and use a set of dumbbells. For the latter, have your arms out to the side and bent at the elbow and holding the dumbbells with a pronated grip – you can also use a neutral grip to target a different area of the shoulders – and push the dumbbells upwards.
  • Barbell bicep curls
    • Get a straight barbell with weight applied. Start with your arms straight down in front and use your biceps to curl it upwards, keeping your arms close to your body.
  • Tricep extensions
    • This move can be carried out in a number of ways. The easiest is to be standing, or sitting on a bench with back support, holding a single dumbbell with both hands. Hold it behind your head and lower it down, bending at the elbow. Use your triceps to bring it back up.

Friday – Power Circuit (see Monday’s workout)

3 sets, 8-10 reps/set. Rest after each full circuit.

  • Clean & jerk
  • Weighted step-ups
  • Weighted knee raises
  • Incline push-ups
  • Barbell bicep curls

Of course, no week-long workout would be complete without a nutrition plan to match and to maximise your gains. Craig had to do just that for his role as the super-sleuth and you will need to as well. For starters, cut out all junk food and replace it with healthy alternatives such as fruit, vegetables, and protein sources such as eggs and chicken.

Rather than follow a three-meal breakfast, lunch, dinner plan, you’ll want to instead have five to six lighter meals throughout the day (with as many protein sources as possible) to keep your metabolism running and to give you the energy to expend at the gym.

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You still want to make sure you’re getting the three important meals of the day taken care of, but interject snacks such as protein shakes, fruit, nuts and yoghurt to keep your body ticking over.

Daniel’s nutrition plan when he was training for Casino Royale looked a little bit like this:

  • Breakfast: 2 poached eggs and 2 pieces of wholegrain toast
  • Snack: Protein shake or fruits and nuts
  • Lunch: Meat or fish with small amount of brown Rice or baked potato
  • Snack: Protein shake or yoghurt with some nuts
  • Dinner: Meat or fish with some leafy green vegetables like salad, spinach, or broccoli.

Throw in some ab exercises every other day, stretches at the weekend and a few lengths of the pool and you’ll be fending off bad guys and seducing beautiful women in no time.

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