Daniel Craig will forever be immortalised as the muscle-bound bond, emerging out of the Bahamas surf in Casio Royale (2006). This image of Craig has quickly become one of the iconic scenes of the Bond Franchise – and has created many self-hating men in the process.
And while women became lost in their Bond fantasies, the men in the audience were all asking themselves the same question – how can I get a body like that?
Certainly Craig shocked the world with his heaving muscular physique, and six years later he’s done it again - defying his age with a body that most 24 year olds would dream to have – let alone someone pushing 50!
For those of you who have kept up-to-date with Craig’s movements since Casino and Quantum of Solace, then you’ll be aware that he deliberately lost a lot of his muscle weight for his role in Cowboys & Aliens (2011).
Craig felt he needed to be scrawny to play a cowboy, and so embarked on a low calorie diet, in conjunction with absolutely no weight lifting. And judging by the looks of him in this picture, it worked.
But for Craig’s third outing as 007, the Directors told him that he needed to gain 15-20 lbs of muscle and to get his body fat percentage down to 10-11% - before filming even began!
Now those would seem like pretty steep demands for a 25 year old, let alone a 44 year old man!
So how did he do it? Read on…
You Only Lift Twice (or Three times)
As mentioned, after he filmed Cowboys, Craig had a lost a lot of the muscle that he had built for Casino. Consequently he had to implement a training structure that specifically looked to regain lean size and definition.
Fortunately for 007, his skinny body was actually primed to build muscle and gain weight; this is because after a period of intense calorie restriction all kinds of anabolic hormones and receptors get up-regulated, meaning that once you begin eating normally again, you are able to direct a lot of nutrients to building muscle.
But, like I said, at 44 time was not on Craig’s side. As we age, our recovery abilities become reduced; and a training routine of 5-6 sessions a week would not generate the same gains it would for a 25 year old (and would possibly cause injury or fatigue).
Consequently, Craig has to train smarter: applying compound movements, lifting heavy, and limiting his training to 3-4, 45 minute sessions a week.
Each session the weight would be upped – as by continually upping the weight, the body will continue to grow:strive for progress, not perfection – this way his body was still stressed into releasing the all-important Growth Hormone but still has enough time to recover and repair.
So what routines and exercises can you implement to build a physique worthy of 007? Let’s take a look -
All of these exercises should be done with 70-80% of your one rep max
Chest & Triceps
SBW Bench: 60 kg
Incline Barbell Press: 4 sets x 6-10 reps (1 minutes rest between sets, 3 if you are 40+ years old)
Skull Crushers: 3 sets x 6-10 reps (1 minutes rest between sets, 3 if you are 40+ years old)
Rope Extensions: 2 sets x 8-12 reps (1 minutes rest between sets, 3 if you are 40+ years old)
Back & Biceps
Weighted Pull ups (get out your dip belt): 4 sets x 6-10 reps (1 minutes rest between sets, 3 if you are 40+ years old)
Deadlifts: 3 sets x 4-6 reps (1 minutes rest between sets, 3 if you are 40+ years old)
Barbell Curls: 3 sets x 6-10 reps (1 minutes rest between sets, 3 if you are 40+ years old)
Incline Dumbbell Curls: 2 sets x 8-12 reps (1 minute rest between sets)
Shoulders & Legs
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 4 sets x 6-10 reps (3 minutes rest between sets)
Lateral Raises: 3 sets x 8-12 reps (2 minutes rest between sets)
Bulgarian Split Squats: 3 sets x 6-10 reps per leg (2 minutes rest between sets)
Standing Single Leg Calf Raises: 3 sets x 10-15 reps per leg (1 minute rest between sets)
For Your Eyes Only
And what about the bullet-proof abs I hear you say; well yes, Craig has an impressive set of abs – and a lot of this was down to his low body fat.
It;s hard not to notice Craig’s defined chest and jaw line – obvious traits of a low body fat percentage – and with 10-11% body fat is a great goal for guys to shoot for.
So for the obvious parts, you need to keep on top of your cardio, looking to perform 30 mins of HIIT training alongside your weight training.
But to really sculpt those heaving abs, they need to be trained as well.
Ideally, abs should be trained 2-3x per week. Target your midriff with these ab-specific exercises.
1. Side to Side Knee Ups:
This exercise involves hanging from a pull up bar with your arms locked out. From here you’re going to raise your knees up to the side alternating side to side. This exercise works best for high repetitions. Ideally you want to build up to 60 reps total (30 per side). When doing this exercise you want to keep constant contraction on your abs. Therefore you will only bring your knees down just below parallel instead of straightening your legs up completely.
2. Renegade Rows
Renegade Rows are incredible for building tight obliques that serve to frame the six pack and offer stability.
3. Plank: 2 sets x 1 minute
You can perform this workout at the end of your usual workout routine
The Spy Who Loved Me(at)
However, all of these training is pretty redundant if you don’t add some fuel to that fire!
Yup, in order for Craig to make those massive size gains, it was vital that he increased his Calorie and Carb intake.
With that said, Craig still needed to be careful not to consume too many calories. At 44, Craig is more susceptible to gaining fat due to his lowered testosterone levels. Consequently, he needed to keep his calorie intake to just support muscle maintenance and growth.
This means consuming 16 calories per pound of target body weight; Craig’s target weight was 180 lbs, which meant consuming around 2880 calories every day!
When eating at a calorie surplus or maintenance you should be getting most of your calories from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates will maximize the anabolic growth signalling in your body, encouraging your body to repair and build. In addition to this, they will give you more energy to train, and also will improve sleep and rest. There are a number of supplements available to help you add the calories into your diet needed to bulk up. Maximuscle’s Promax is a solid choice, while MyProtein’s Hurricane contains a good balance of carbs and added Creatine, to add real pump to your “arm charm”.
There you have it…
Age is no-longer an Excuse
With smarter training and eating, Craig was able to defy the years and build a body that will go down in cinematic history. Fortunately for Craig, he had muscle memory on his side and was able to gain muscle quicker than expected – but, regardless, once you starts hitting the weights and upping your calorie and protein intake, you will also be able to see the same gains as Craig.
What do you think, should your Age affect your expectations of your body? Leave your comments below?