Here’s How Daniel Craig Got His Bond Body | Men's Health Magazine Australia

Here’s How Daniel Craig Got His Bond Body

Few roles in the canon of Hollywood demand as much grit, determination and unwavering focus as that of James Bond. Perhaps it is for this reason that it’s such a coveted role, for actors know that it’s not only the type of role that will launch them into a new stratosphere of fame, but also one that serves as something of a flex. Few Bond films are complete without some kind of slow-mo wade through the water, with Bond looking all ripped with bulging biceps and six-pack abs, it’s almost as if they are a prerequisite for the role. 

But while it’s one thing to marvel at the actors that have played the part, when it comes to actually getting Bond ready, this is a task of one Simon Waterson, the man who has been James Bond’s personal trainer for 22 years and even trained 16 Bond girls in the process. For the uninitiated, Waterson has trained Daniel Craig throughout his tenure as 007. He not only knows the ins-and-outs of Craig’s gruelling filming schedule, but knows just what to do to ensure Craig stays injury free (well, aside from any on-set mishaps) and can deliver the action his movie character so effortlessly demands. 

A former Royal marine, Waterson has trained countless Hollywood stars, including Chris Pratt and Donald Glover. You could say that if ever there was a trainer who knows what is required of an action star, it’s Waterson. He even trained Pierce Brosnan for his last two 007 films, before taking on a new direction with Craig. Speaking to GQ UK, Waterson explained: “Daniel always has a clear vision of what he wanted and how to evolve the character physically and mentally.”

He added, “With Casino Royale, it was quite big, imposing, shocking: ‘I can do this. My physique is capable of doing the job that I’m portraying.’” 

But as any film buff will know, Craig’s 007 changed over the course of his Bond films. The Bond we were presented with on Casino Royale was very different to that which we will finally see in No Time To Die. So, just how did the training differ for each film? As Waterson explained, on Casino Royale, the pair worked to create a physique that would push Bond to his limits and beyond. 

“Dan had briefed me on his goals and was determined to get stuck in. No stone was left unturned in terms of developing speed, strength, stamina and a sharp, focused mind. I’m a stickler when it comes to attention to detail, so posture, definition, movement and confidence were at the top of the list. I also wanted functioning muscle – there’s no point in having great muscles if they can’t be used in a beneficial way like speeding across the ground, climbing, jumping and fighting.”

As for the workouts, these were a blend of “powerlifting, with a lot of compound exercises thrown in.” As Waterson suggests, “This allows you to work out extremely hard with heavy weights, and because it’s so intense the heart rate is elevated. Therefore, you are working not only on the development of nice lean muscle tissue, but you’re also getting a bit of cardio as well and keeping your body fat down.”

Waterson told the publication that after just a few months of training, “Dan was lifting and performing like an athlete. He had full focus on what he wanted and the discipline from me to help him execute it. Even now, I still can’t believe the physical changes he achieved. It just shows that with will power and dedication you can achieve anything.”

Throughout all the films, Waterson and Craig trained for athletic performance, an important distinction to training for aesthetic purposes. As Waterson puts it: “If you have amazing athletic performance, your aesthetic looks great because of performance. We never train for aesthetic, we train for athleticism. Nothing about the way he looks is that conscious; it’s about what he needs to do on a daily basis.”

For Quantum of Solace, the workouts changed to become more cardiovascular and agility-based, allowing Craig to get up and down off the floor, leap around corners, and dive through windows with ease. For the next films, the script was broken down to see what elements were important for training relevance. Things like sprinting and scaling rooftops to jumping on a bike all informed the nature of Craig’s training. 

As for the final instalment we’ll see of Craig as 007, Waterson said: “Movie to movie, the goalposts change with age, so the process takes slightly longer. What took six to eight months in Casino Royale takes seven to eight months the next time, and so on and so on, until you get to No Time to Die, where he’s a little bit older and the process takes a year plus.”

Waterson doesn’t given too much away, but says of the upcoming film: “There were lots of different elements and content within that movie. We primarily focused on agility. It’s all movement, natural body movements, not about how much weight you can shift and all that business. It’s how you’re moving and feeling. That’s the primary thing, especially with the content of the movie: movement, speed, agility and processing things very quickly.”

Safe to say, we’re keen to see just how things pan out for Craig in No Time to Die. 

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