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Bennett Winch SC Holdall

The Film workout vs. the real Bond workout? Part - 1

01 June, 2008

After the release of Casino Royale many people we wondering what type of training Daniel Craig (DC) had done to get into shape for the part of 007. People looked at his physique and thought 'I want to do what he did'. A lot of fitness 'experts' have claimed to know the program that Daniel Craig used but oddly, very few match up. Subsequent to this, attention turned to discussions about the the type of training a 'real James Bond' might do. There's two questions here, and we'll aim to cover both in a some detail.

daniel craig workout muscles
photo © Sony Pictures

My aim with the piece below is to give two important pieces of the puzzle, so you can get a body like that seen in the film: a proven training routine and nutrition package. I have also included the type of training program you can use to improve your physique as well as one a specialist might undertake between missions as a person who relies of extreme physical fitness and skill.

Now, before we go on a healthy dose of reality is called for here; I, of course, didn't train Daniel Craig for the role and besides this is just a bit of fun, James Bond is of course a fantasy character, however that hasn't stopped people wondering 'What if?'. Luckily for us there is a lot of information out there and I have used what is available to me with the skills and knowledge from my own professional work to put together programs that fit the man and the character. I'm also lucky enough to know ex forces PT instructors as well as marines and paratroopers and the like, they have given me some useful insights.

The programs below are fairly advanced training guides. The first is a hybrid between the type of training Daniel Craig his PT Simon Waterson ( described. The second a tried and tested structure of training that is going to work on the average guy in the street helping them to get strong and look strong.

The third includes some of the types of training methods now popular with special forces and elite tactical units. Again, it is advanced, very advanced, using this correctly will get you very fit, fast and strong as well as probably rip kilos of fat off you at the same time but be warned: only consider using this program if you are an advanced trainee.


The screen Bond workout

What we know.... In a piece Simon Waterson did for Q magazine he went into a good amount of detail about the types of movements and exercises he used with Daniel Craig. It has also been mentioned that Craig spend about '45 minutes' in the gym '5 times a week' and used a lot of circuits and high intensity cardio in his training.

Clearly the training was aimed at making him look the part, like he could 'kill' and also prepare him for the rigors of shooting an action movie. Simon Waterson is quoted as having said the workouts were based around 'powerlifting' with more compound exercises.

Also part of the mixture was posture, low body fat levels and the ability to move quickly, climb and fight well.

Movements used:

(click on the terms for an explanation of the exercise)

Useful additions would include:

  • Deadlifts, sumo deadlift high pulls lunges step-ups
  • Bench press, overhead dumbbell press, dumbbell rows, face pulls


Other peoples 'ideas'...

Many people have been claiming to know the exact program that Daniel Craig did to get in shape for the film. Strangely none of them match up.... One example program quoted is the following

  • The Clean and Jerk
  • Squat
  • Bench Press
  • Pull Ups or Chin Ups
  • Dips
  • Barbell Curls
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raises


All exercises done in a circuit for a total of 4 giant sets: each exercise performed for 10-20 reps each, for 6 weeks (cycling the reps up and down over the weeks), this circuit to be completed 3-4 times a week. This is claimed to be the exact workout but I haven't seen it confirmed.

I'll be frank, I have a few major problems with this:

the training is not smart; if you do the same few movements again and again for high reps is a fatigued state you are leaving yourself open to injury. If you do it 3, 4 or more times a week for 6 weeks then you are bound to get problems, more so if you're approaching 40 and have the added issue of fights scenes and other stunts to do.

This program is aimed at getting someone very lean, indeed the source this is from is a trainer who specializes in this however, look at Daniel Craig in other films he is lean and actually needs to gain muscle mass - this is not the best way to do this.

This of course doesn't mean it won't work, I just feel there are smarter ways to achieve the desired results. I am also aware that the above quoted workout may well not be the whole story.

Others claim that they have the program that Daniel Craig did for the film but they fail to mention exercises choices and workout structures explicitly mentioned by Simon Waterson and Daniel Craig.

So with all this confusion about the type of program, you have to ask the important question: what would you do to get into the kind of shape Daniel Craig was for Casino Royale?


Looking like bond: an example physique program

My aim with the below program is to get you looking a lot better, not wear you out. Daniel Craig would have had the expertise of a physiotherapist, masseur, nutritionist, access to plunge pools, etc.

You will not.

This means we will have to go cautiously keeping in mind your disadvantages when it comes to recovery - this is also why I have written this article. The training has to match the trainee and most of the routines I see quoted will leave the average person in the street injured, over worked or despondent.

A failsafe way of getting to goals of a lean muscular physique is with a 3 days per week upper and lower body split. This routine challenges all the different muscle groups stimulating growth but leaving enough room for proper recovery and thus muscular growth. The use of supersets helps with recovery of the muscles between exercises, whilst challenging the heart and lungs and upping the metabolic rate aiding fat loss.

Where you see a1, a2, b1, b2 etc. you perform one set of the exercise no.1, rest for the prescribed amount of seconds if applicable, and carry on to no. 2, rest, go back to no. 1 and repeat for the prescribed amount of sets and then more to the next letter up.

workout training excercise gym roomDay 1 Upper body one 

a1) Barbell bench press
a2) Barbell row 

b1) Incline dumbbell press
b2) Cable row to neck 

c1) Barbell preacher curl
22) Close grip barbell bench press 

d1) Swiss ball crunch with twists
d2) Lateral raises 

5-20 minute cardiovascular/energy systems work 

Day 3 Lower body One 

Back Squat 2 sets of 10 reps

a1) Close stance lunges
a2) Romanian dead lift 4 sets of 8 

b1) Leg raises
b2) Standing calves raise 4 sets of 15 

Back squats 1 set of 20 

5-20 minute cardiovascular/energy systems work 

Day 5 Upper body Two 

a1) Wide grip pull ups 4 sets of 6
a2) Barbell overhead press 

workout training excercise dumbbellb1) Close grip pull up (palms facing)
b2) Alternate dumbbell press (elbows in palms facing) 

c1) Dips
c2) Leg raises with twist 

d1) dumbbell tricpes extensions (note: not 'kickbacks'!)
d2) Zottman curls 

5-20 minute cardiovascular/energy systems work 

Day 8 Lower body Two 

Traditional dead lift 5 reps of 5 

a1) Sumo dead lift high pulls
a2) side lunges 

b1) Step ups
b2) Seated calves raises 

5-20 minute cardiovascular/energy systems work 

Day 10: Start at day one

Energy systems work

How much of this you do is up to you. If you're slim and in need of more muscle mass then you would do very little, if your carrying a lot of excess weight then you would do more.

I am a big fan of pad work, cycle interval sprints, hill runs or fartlek type training, but be wise with your choices - these are very taxing training methods. Sprints after a big leg workout are probably not the order of the day so use a little pad work or steady cycling cycling on leg days and sprints or intervals on the upper body days.

Rest days

Rest days are just that, go for a very light swim or a walk but keep the emphasis on moving but not taxing those aching limbs. And keep eating well, as I have said your body makes muscle, adapts and chews up fat outside the gym, feed it what it needs to do this!

So, the real Bond workout?

So Mr Craig looked good on screen but what kind of training would a real 'James Bond' do? Read more on Page 2.

© 2008 Drew Price -

All copyrights for products, logos, images etc are held by their respective owners. Bond Lifestyle is not responsible for these articles, please take any queries up with the author.

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What is the prescribed number of sets and reps for day 1? Thanks.
I realize I'm late to the party here - but I've been looking for a 'bond 25' preparation workout - and I think this is great. Thanks for putting this up.

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