Get a 007 Body in 20 Minutes

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Aside from his missile-firing Aston Martins and sharp tuxedos, there are two things that will always make James Bond the quintessential British bad boy. Seductive charm and rugged athleticism. We can't suddenly get you the girl, but we can get you the body (which will probably help you get the girl). From crane-climbing full-body explosivity to big-armed swimsuit-based confidence, you need it all. We spoke to Chris Hall, founder of Hall Training Systems, to find out what exercises will give you 007-level physicality.


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1. Pull-Up

Why Pull-ups develop back and grip strength so you’re ready to climb a lift shaft or pull himself onto a helicopter. If you’re finding pull-ups difficult (palms facing away from you), start with some chin-ups (palms facing towards you) and build up from there. Once you can knock out 20 controlled reps in a row, Skyfall style, put on a weight belt or lower yourself down more slowly. You’ll be ready to chase a man up scaffolding in no time.

Technique tip Crossing your feet behind you will engage your glutes to achieve a more efficient movement.

2. Garhammer Raise

Why The lower abdominals used to be the hardest area to develop when sculpting a six-pack. Until now. Garhammers are the king of building lower abs power and increasing core strength, which is essential for escaping that drainpipe you’re chained to, and impressing everyone at the beach.

Technique tip Avoid rocking by doing the movement slowly. Control is key.

3. Box Jump

Why Box jumps develop explosive leg power, essential for most of Bond’s chase scenes. You’ll be glad you did these next time you find yourself sprinting across some roof ops – or if you simply need to run up the escalator to bypass the crowds on your commute.

Technique tip Squat as low as possible before jumping to fully engage your legs.

4. Split Squat

Why It may not be the world's sexiest exercise, but strength and conditioning coaches have relied on it for years to improve leg power. If you’re planning to develop a serious kick, as all field agents should, you'd better get split squatting.

Technique tip Tense your core to avoid leaning to the side as you perform the movement.

5. Deadlift

Why You don’t become strong without deadlifting. Deadlifts work your lower back and legs, greatly improve your ability to pick up heavy things from the floor. An absolute necessity for quietly hauling the bodies you’ve just knocked out over your shoulder… or picking up your groceries and carrying them to your fridge.

Technique tip It’s crucial to learn proper deadlift form before you start lifting heavy. Start off without any weights on the bar until your technique is perfect.

6. Dip

Why Whether you need to lift yourself out of an avalanche or climb out of an infinity pool, the powerful triceps you develop by dipping will certainly help. 

Technique tip Cross your feet behind you to engage your glutes and achieve a more efficient movement..

7. Press-up

Why Do these in case you’re ever trapped under rubble and need to push it aside. Or if you just want a chest that looks good in a tight shirt. Either way, these give you functional strength.

Technique tip Keep your body in a straight line by tensing your glutes and core to keep your pelvis strong.

8. Rope Climb

Why Even if you aren’t planning on getting booted off a cliff edge, the rope climb is a fantastically useful exercise to develop grip strength and upper-body power.

Technique tip It’s a rope. Just get up it.

9. Standing Barbell Biceps Curl

Why To look manly in a suit, obviously (and to help you hold your gun steady).

Technique tip Engage your core and avoid rocking back by throwing your chest forward to componsate when your arms get tired. Lower the weight if you must to focus the burn on those biceps.


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Unlock Your Inner Agent with This Circuit

Do the required reps for each move then move straight on to the next exercise. Rest if you need to, but bear in mind Bond works against the clock, operating under extreme pressure. Your objective is to repeat the circuit as many times in 20 minutes as you can. The average person will probably manage it twice. If you fancy yourself an MI6 agent then you should easily achieve four repetitions...

  1. 10 deadlifts at 60% of your one-rep max
  2. 20 press-ups
  3. 10 box jumps
  4. Climb once up and down a rope (no rope? Do 10 pull-ups OR 10 towel-grip chin-ups if pull-ups are too hard)
  5. 30 bodyweight split squats (15 each side)
  6. 15 dips
  7. 10 garhammer leg raises
  8. 15 barbell biceps curls

Hit that circuit a couple of times a week and you’ll soon be enjoying a mix of muscular growth and improved endurance. This circuit alternates upper-body and lower-body exercises, which does wonders for your heart by forcing it to work harder than it would in a regular gym routine. For more information on how Daniel Craig gets in Bond shape, click here.

Thanks to Chris Hall, founder of Hall Training Systems (, for the circuit

Sam Razvi wrote for Men’s Fitness UK (which predated and then shared a website with Coach) between 2011 and 2016.