For part 2 in the “Look like a Superhero” series, we’ll be taking a look at Daniel Craig for his role in Casino Royale.
So, you want to look like James Bond huh? Daniel Craig, the most bad-ass 00-agent since Sean Connery, spent months with a personal trainer turning himself into a 007 killing machine. Not surprisingly, he completely changed his life for this movie: working out five days a week, eating almost exclusively healthy food, and having a personal trainer and dietitian to keep him in line. Unlike Ryan Reynolds in Blade 3, Daniel didn’t have to add tons of weight, he needed to lose weight, build muscle, and get cut.
Daniel took a different approach to fitness compared to other celebrity routines. While some people concentrate on one muscle group per day, working it only once a week, Daniel often did full body circuits, supercharging his heart rate and building muscle and endurance at the same time. Rather than trying to look like a perfectly sculpted pretty boy, he wanted to look like a guy that could sprint for 3 miles, lift up a car, rip your head off, and then sleep with your supermodel girlfriend. It’s not a bad look to go for, I guess. If you’re into that kind of thing.
Before we get to the workout, let’s talk diet. If you want to look like you could kill a man with your bare hands, you won’t get there pounding a 2 liter of Mountain Dew and eating Ho-Hos. Like everything else I’ve been preaching, your diet will account for at least 80% of your successes or failures. Here’s an analogy: you think James puts REGULAR gasoline in that Aston Martin? Hell no. Premium! Your body is the same way. If you want to get the most out of your routines, you want to give your body the best fuel possible at all times.
First and foremost, Daniel Craig gave up smoking. There was no compromise on this one. Secondly, he was allowed to drink, but only on Friday nights and Saturdays. If you think he’d mix some protein powder into those shaken Martinis, it doesn’t work. Drinking dehydrates you, and your body needs that hydration to use the protein to rebuild your muscles. Keep this in mind next time you think it’d be smart to make a margarita protein shake.
Daniel also cut out all the crap from his diet, ate 5-6 times a day, cut out carbs in the afternoon and evenings, ate lots of vegetables and fruits, and concentrated on eating high quality protein (fish, eggs, chicken, protein shakes, etc.) “Wow that doesn’t sound like any fun,” you might be thinking. That’s because it’s not fun. It’s boring and you have to give up a lot of the stuff you might like to eat. Face the facts: if you want to look like a 00 agent, you’re going to have to completely change how you eat, make sacrifices, and stick to a strict diet.
Here is a typical day for Daniel on his diet (From Squidoo):
- Breakfast: 2 Poached Eggs and 2 pieces of 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- Yogurt with some Nuts
- Dinner: Meat -or- Fish with some type of Leafy Green Vegetables like Salad, Spinach, or Broccoli.
Because Daniel was more concerned with cutting body fat while building muscle, his carb intake was very low. Also, the guy’s 40 (damn!), which means he has a slower metabolism; if you’re 20, skinny as a rail, and trying to look like James Bond, you’re going to want to eat WAY more complex carbs. If you’re on the bigger side of the spectrum and trying to slim down…this diet will work for you.
Please know that Daniel was training with a professional on a daily basis (millions of dollars certainly help). If you don’t have the luxury of a trainer, make sure each exercise is done with light weights until you have the form down PERFECTLY. Heavy weights + bad form = injury, lost time, and no supermodels. Suck.
I’ve seen all kinds of routines all over the internet when it comes to what Daniel Craig actually did for his workout. Honestly, I don’t care which one is right, because they all have the same basic principle. The most reputable source I found was Men’s Health, so that’s the one I’ll analyze here. According to their site, Daniel would do weight training Monday through Friday, and then some light cardio and stretching on Saturday and Sunday. Nowhere on the site does it mention seducing attractive women, but I imagine this is built into his cardio on the weekends (zing!).
Some workout routines (like Ryan Reynold’s from Blade) followed a “one muscle group per day” routine. Daniel instead took the full-body route on Mondays and Fridays, working out his entire body, doing sets back to back, limiting rest between sets, and building cardio right INTO his weight training. You might wonder why a guy who’s trying to trim down wouldn’t do more cardio. The lack of straight cardio is important for these two reasons:
- DC wanted to look muscular and cut, not lean. If he just did cardio, he’d look like a marathon runner. Where’s the intimidation there?
- The higher percentage of lean muscle you have, the faster your metabolism works. You know how some people complain about slow metabolisms? I know a lot of it has to do with genetics, but I bet they don’t do any sort of weight training either. If you’re trying to cut your weight, doing just cardio will only get you so far. Weight training builds lean muscle, which speeds up your metabolism, which will help you lose even more weight.
Let’s take a look at his full body circuit routine on Mondays and Fridays, from Men’s Health. On this day, Daniel would do 10 reps of each exercise and then move immediately onto the next exercise and do 10 reps, then move onto the next one. He would do three complete circuits of these exercises, minimizing rest. If you don’t know some of these exercises, you can read about them on the MH website.
- Clean and Press
- Weighted Knee Raise
- Weighted Step-ups
- Pull ups
- Incline Push up
- Triceps Dips
Now, the reason he can do these exercises back to back to back is because they work different muscle groups. When you do a pull up, you use your back and biceps. For an incline push up, you use primarily your chest, shoulders and triceps..which means you can do these two exercises back-to-back without overexerting yourself. Personally, I might rearrange these exercises slightly, splitting up the push ups and dips, because they both work your chest, shoulders, and triceps (although in different capacities). Of course, I don’t look like James Bond (YET), so I’ll leave the routine planning up to his trainers. Here is the rest of his schedule; you can click on each day to see the specific exercises:
On each of these days, Daniel would work out just the muscles in the group he was isolating. For each exercise, he would complete 4 sets of 10 reps. Again, if it were up to me, I would have started with 12 reps, and increased weight each time while decreasing the reps in each set (12, 10, 8, 6), but I’m not the one with the golden gun (GET IT? I’m on a roll). I’m a big fan of this routine because it works the cardio right into his weight training. Nothing bores me more than running long distances, or even worse, running on a treadmill. By lifting weights in quick succession with minimal rest between sets and exercises, you can get a great cardio workout while burning fat and building muscle at the same time.
Here’s an interview with Daniel Craig talking about his diet for Casino Royale:
Long story short: you can look like this at age 40 if you have a lot of money, a personal trainer, a diet coach, great genetics, and five days a week to train. If you don’t have those things, you can still get the Bond look; it just might take you longer than it took Daniel Craig. I really want to go watch Casino Royale now.
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