Daniel Craig Workout

(Image credit: Unknown)

The speculation about who be star in the next James Bond movie shows no signs of abating. Will it be Luther and The Wire leading man Idris Elba? Did Tom Hiddleston’s barely credible fling with pop star Taylor Swift rule him out of contention? Or will an outsider come from nowhere to fill the 007 brief, much like Daniel Craig did when he was cast as the iconic secret agent in 2006’s Casino Royale?

We’re hoping that Craig will return for a fifth outing as Britain’s smoothest export – but there’s going to be no shortage of interested names should he hand in his licence to kill, not least because that image of him emerging from the sea, magnificent pecs proudly on display, catapulted Craig to a new level of celebrity.

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As Craig’s sculpted torso indicated, the 21st-century Bond doesn’t just rely on the fancy gadgets to get things done – he uses strength and explosiveness to beat up baddies, as well as lightning-fast reactions (helpful when driving Aston Martins as if they were F1 supercars). And let’s face it, a physique that looks like his is pretty high on the average guy’s wish list as well. So here’s a workout from strength coach Richard Tidmarsh that will get you into similarly strong, athletic and powerful shape.

The routine includes the deadlift and toes-to-bar for full-body strength. To play Bond, Craig also needs balance and power, so he does movements such as the renegade row that target the stabilisers in the core, while the press-up to box jump brings the explosiveness required to chase freerunning bad guys through building sites à la Casino Royale. The workout finisher is a high-intensity interval blast on the rower to target fat and set you on the route to a lean, muscular, well-defined body.

As well as getting yourself in Daniel Craig shape, perhaps you'd like to work on your secret agent skills? Read on and learn the necessary know-how. From avalanche survival to climbing an overhang via winning a swordfight, experts give us the low-down in case we find ourselves in a Bond film.

The James Bond Workout

Complete rounds one, two and three with no rest between exercises. Complete five sets of each round before moving on to the next. Take a one-minute rest after the second exercise and rest for two minutes between rounds.


  1. Row 300m at 50% effort, followed by 300m at 80% effort
  2. Upward dog to downward dog transfer, 6 reps

Round one

  1. Barbell deadlift, 10 reps at 80% of your one-rep max
  2. Dumbbell renegade row, 5 sets of 5 reps
  3. Press-up to box jump, 10 reps

Round two

  1. Toe to bar, 20 reps

Round three

  1. Kettlebell front squat to overhead press, 10 reps
  2. V-up wood chop (lie flat on your back with your arms behind your head, power up into a V while chopping your arms to the floor on one side), 5 sets of 5 reps

Round four

  1. Maximum-distance blast on the rower, 1min followed by 90sec rest x 3 

Richard Tidmarsh is one of the UK’s leading strength and conditioning coaches and owner of one-to-one training facility Reach Fitness London. For information on the training packages available at his gym, as well as his five-day intense training camps in Portugal, head to r4reach.com. Follow Richard Tidmarsh on Twitter @RichTidmarsh.

Hone Your Bond Skills

From landing noiselessly on tiled floors in dress shoes to disarming tri-nippled assassins, James Bond has a trick for everything and always handles himself with panache. While it’s unlikely that you’ll ever have to sprint over a crocodile’s back or dodge a flying bowler hat, there are still plenty of skills you can learn from 007.

The Skill: Self-defence

In From Russia With Love, Bond fights Russkie spy Robert Shaw – after identifying him due to a terrible red wine/fish gaff – in a claustrophobic train compartment.

Bond can get away with stabbing someone on a train because he’s got a license to kill, but avoiding trouble is always the best option if possible. “You can reduce your chances of being targeted by positioning yourself sensibly on public transport,” says Stewart McGill, chief instructor at Urban Krav Maga. “If possible try to sit on an outside seat, or stand up, so you’re not hemmed in. Ideally you want easy access to an escape route. If you can, stand near the driver or any kind of authority figure, as they’re likely to prove something of a deterrent.”

“If you’re sitting down and someone starts attacking you from a standing position, your best bet is to protect yourself with a move called the wedge block. To do it, grip the back of your neck with your left hand, with your elbow tucked in as near to your nose as possible and your chin tucked in as low as you can. Meanwhile, grab your left wrist with your right hand, with your right forearm across your forehead to protect your eyes.”

“If you’re seated when someone attacks, stand up as soon as possible. Once you’re standing, aim a hard strike at your attacker’s groin and make a beeline for the exit. Also make as much noise as possible during an attack – it’s likely to deter an assailant if they think they’ve got less chance of getting away with it.”

The Skill: Shark Evasion

In Thunderball, Having deduced that the sinister-looking millionaire with the eyepatch is SPECTRE’s second in command, Bond successfully evades a plethora of scuba-diving henchmen and enormous sharks, while showing that underwater fighting really is as slow as you’d think, despite his special drag-reducing pants.

Provided you stay clear of underwater terrorist plots, shark attacks on humans are actually pretty rare. “When they do occur, it tends to be on specific beaches due to various factors such as water currents and the steepness of the sea bed,” says Simon Airey, an authority on wild animal species. “They generally feed at dusk and dawn when the water isn’t too hot or too cold, so staying on land at these times will reduce the chance of an attack even further. They’re extremely sensitive to blood, so if you cut yourself, get out of the water immediately.”

“Sharks have pits on their snouts called ampullae of lorenzini, which are extremely sensitive to vibrations in the water, so if you see a shark it’s important that you remain relatively still. Sharks generally don’t target humans, but they’re opportunistic feeders, and if you thrash around and create a disturbance they’re far more likely to come and investigate. Try to remain upright in the water too. If you’re floating on the surface – especially if you’re wearing a wetsuit or lying on a surfboard – there’s a chance that the shark will mistake your silhouette for that of a seal.”

“While it’s true that sharks have sensitive snouts, trying to hit one on the nose when it’s coming at you with its jaws wide open isn’t a good idea. Grabbing its gills won’t do much good either, as shark skin is incredibly tough and coarse. You’re better off trying to gouge at it’s eye sockets with your fingers, as these are its most vulnerable areas.”

The Skill: Fire Escape

In You Only Live Twice, having undergone cutting-edge prosthetic surgery to appear convincingly Japanese, Bond and his crack team of ninjas are treated to the old self-destructing-lair trick by an irate Blofeld. Fire and explosions rain down as 007 and his new countrymen beat a hasty retreat.

A secret volcano lair is probably far more likely to catch fire than your house but it still pays to be prepared. “Having a set escape route for your home is definitely a good idea,” says Patrick Goulbourne, a station manager with the London Fire Brigade. “This will make it much easier to escape if there’s a fire. Keep the exits clear at all times too – if visibility is reduced by smoke, the last thing you want is to be falling over things on your way out. If you lock your door at night, make sure the keys are kept near to the door and within easy access – you don’t want to be rooting around in drawers when you’re under pressure.”

“If you come across a fire in a building, don’t try to fight it yourself. Close the door of the room it’s in to help contain it, then notify everybody in the building and get out as quickly as possible. Once you’re out, call 999 and the fire brigade will come and deal with it. In London the first fire engine will be on site within six minutes of your call.”

“If your escape route is obstructed by fire, get everybody into a room and close the door. Thanks to fire-safety building regulations in the UK, you should have around 30 minutes of protection once the door is closed. Use towels, clothing or whatever you can find to block the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor, and open any windows. Then call 999. You’ll be put through to a fire survival guidance counsellor, who will stay on the line with you until the fire engine arrives and extract as much information as possible to help the firemen get you out.”

The Skill: Avalanche Survival

In the film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Blofeld proves he’s no slouch on the slopes as the megalomaniac and his henchmen pursue Bond through the Swiss Alps. Unperturbed, 007 still manages to find time for a quick romp with Diana Rigg before out-skiing an avalanche on his way back to London.

Bond might be able to outrun an avalanche but the chances are you won’t be so lucky, so it pays to plan ahead. “If you’re venturing off-piste, it’s vital that you take the correct safety equipment,” says Mark Diggins, co-ordinator of the Scottish Avalanche Information Service. “Ideally you need an avalanche transceiver, a purpose-built shovel and a probe. It’s also worth checking the avalanche report for the area you’re planning to visit before you go.”

“If you get caught in an avalanche, 90% of the time you’ll have triggered it yourself, and it’ll be coming down behind you. The first thing to do is to shout as loud as you can to try to get the attention of people further down the slopes. That way they can keep an eye on you and use your last position before you went under to help find you. Once an avalanche has started it can accelerate rapidly up to 60mph, but you won’t be fully submerged initially so it’s important that you try to keep yourself afloat as if you were treading water.”

“Once you’ve been fully engulfed by the avalanche and it’s come to a halt, immediately place one arm across your face and use the crook of your arm to create an extra air pocket to help you breathe for longer. Meanwhile, thrust your other arm up towards the surface. Even if you can’t reach the open air above, the closer you are to it, the quicker you’re likely to be found. If you follow these tips you’ll have a 90% chance of surviving if you’re dug out within the first 15 minutes. Otherwise you’ll suffocate.”

The Skill: Scaling an Overhang

Defiant of his advancing years and fatherly dress sense, in For Your Eyes Only Bond proves he’s more than just an eyebrow-raising face as he scales a mountaintop monastery in pursuit of a missing ATAC computer.

“Good climbing technique is all about ignoring your instinctive impulses,” says climbing coach and author Adrian Berry. “The steeper an overhang becomes, the more you’ll feel as if you should use your arms, but in fact the opposite is true and it’s even more important that you use your legs and feet. You have to trust the friction between your shoes and the rock.”

“A strong core is crucial for climbing, and it’s important to use your core as much as possible and to try and keep your centre of gravity directly above your feet, as this will take a lot of the weight off your arms. It’s often easier to do this by turning your body sideways on to the rock face rather than being straight on.”

“Try to keep your arms straight and relaxed. As an overhang gets steeper, your natural inclination will be to bend and tense your arms, but by keeping them straight and relaxed you’ll help to maintain the blood flow to your forearms and stop lactic acid building up.”

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The Skill: Winning a Swordfight

Never one to back down from a challenge, Bond in Die Another Day embarks on a one-man crusade to destroy an entire fencing club as he duels with unhinged super villain Gustav Graves. The ensuing fight proves about as popular with the club’s members as Madonna’s cameo does with audiences.

“Distance is crucial in sword fighting,” says Darren Birchall of Balestra Sword Fencing. “The idea is to tease your opponent backwards and forwards and then close the distance and strike. One way to catch them off guard is to fake a step and then take a half-step and thrust.”

“It’s really important that you pay close attention to what your opponent is doing and use their weaknesses against them. If your opponent repeatedly parries low, for example, let them do it a few times and then thrust high to catch them off guard.”

“Sword fighting is all about guile and masking what you’re doing. The worst thing is constancy. You should never repeat the same parries or thrusts back to back. It’s important to mix up your tempo and pace to keep your opponent on their toes.”

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The Skill: Taking A Leap

Proving that Hawaiian shirts only ever look cool if you’re shoulder-charging through a wall, Bond in Casino Royale chases free-running legend Sebastan Foucan across a construction site and up a crane before recklessly blowing up an embassy.

“The key is to concentrate on making each individual jump as perfect as possible,” says Dan Edwardes, author of The parkour and freerunning handbook. “This means a good approach with a fast, explosive take-off, good co-ordination while in flight and a soft, controlled landing. Remember it’s the speed with which you contract the muscle that determines how powerful the movement is. Always choose your landing spot before you jump and aim to land as precisely as possible.”

“During the jump, raise your knees and extend your feet towards the landing area. Raising your knees will give you more distance and a softer touch-down as you reach your destination. It will also help you clear any obstacles between you and the landing area. Aim to jump up as well as forwards.”

“Perform every jump on the balls of your feet – both when you push off and when you land. This is the part of the foot that gives you muscular control, balance and dynamism in movement. Always bend your legs when landing – though not too deep – so the muscles absorb the impact rather than the skeleton or joints. Aim to be soft, quiet and completely controlled when you land. Try not to wobble or overbalance as you come to a stop. If the landing requires it, roll immediately on making contact with the ground to disperse the impact over a larger surface area and away from your body.”