When it comes to being cool, James Bond has all the answers. When it comes to having a body that can show and go, James Bond is your blueprint! Here’s your plan to saving the world, one workout at a time!
When you think of the number 007, you think of the British Secret Service agent, highly trained assassin and certified ladies’ man. Those three attributes accurately describe the man known as James Bond.
In one of the most popular film series based on Ian Fleming’s novels, Bond fights villains from around the world. From defeating the Soviets in From Russia, With Love to saving the world from a potential World War III in Tomorrow Never Dies to defending his homeland in Skyfall, Bond is always there to save the day.
Bond battles the bad guys in hand-to-hand combat on top of moving gondola cars, on planes 30,000 feet in the air and even in a minefield. He has all the coolest gadgets, weapons and cars as he chases his nemeses across the globe, from the top of a skyscraper in Shanghai to The Underground in London to South America’s Atacama Desert.
While he has the latest, greatest inventions from MI6’s Q Branch, Bond has excellent hand-to-hand combat skills, possesses the endurance of a marathon runner and the athleticism, strength and flexibility of an Olympic gymnast. That is James Bond. A top-notch athlete who just so happens to save the world from time-to-time.
How Does You Get A Body Like Bond And Maybe Get Some Ladies?
Functional fitness. Take time to get back to the basics and add a few interesting wrinkles to your training regimen.
Make no mistake: James Bond is no bodybuilder. Bodybuilders focus on packing on plenty of muscle, making their biceps and chest pop and then posing on stage in front of a crowd and judges with the main goal to be aesthetically pleasing.
Sure, Bond has the looks of a fitness model and the current actor (Daniel Craig) playing the role could be on the cover of any fitness magazine. He’s more than just a muscular body though. Here is a workout plan, as well as some training tips and techniques to get you looking and feeling like the world’s most beloved secret agent.
#1 Training In All Movement Planes
James Bond scales buildings, skis down mountains, jumps out of planes and fights men that are much bigger than him. He doesn’t train on weight machines that restrict the range of motion and keep the movement fixed. Instead, he trains in all three movement planes: Sagittal, frontal and transverse.
The sagittal plane divides the body in half and involves exercises that include flexion such as a biceps curl. The frontal plane divides the body into front and back halves. This plane includes movements such as abduction. One example exercise for the frontal plane is a lateral raise. The transverse plane splits the body into top and bottom halves and includes movements such as rotation. A wood chop or Russian twists are two exercises for this plane of movement.
What does it mean to train functionally?
Functional fitness involves training your muscles to work together to perform basic everyday moves. Whether that is standing up from a chair, bending over to pick up a box or carrying the groceries in the house, training to be functionally fit involves having the full body in sync.
Functional training revolves around mostly compound exercises. These are moves that target multiple muscle groups. There is no better way to build full body strength than by executing multi-joint exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups or step-ups. All of these require the body to be in tune and the core region to be activated.
Forget The Show Me Muscles
Instead of focusing on an aesthetic goal such as six-pack abs, train with compound exercises and complement them with smaller movements such as rotations. Compound exercises not only can target big muscle groups, but also the small ones too.
The big muscles in these movements are the primary movers. The synergists are the assisters. And, the stabilizers maintain a position with no real movement.
For example, a squat targets the quads and the glutes are one of the synergists while the hamstrings are a stabilizer. When one of the primary movers gets fatigued, the synergists kick in to help out.
Strength training, and particularly functional training, helps enhance all muscles from primary movers to stabilizers. It also helps strengthen the bones, tendons and ligaments. For James Bond to achieve his feats, his synergists and stabilizers must be on point. And, his bones, tendons and ligaments must hold up as he jumps from one point to another, swings to the top of a building and climbs to the top of a construction crane.
#2 Efficient Training
To train like a secret agent, you don’t need weight machines, tons of weight plates and dumbbells. You also don’t need the newest piece of workout equipment. Bond doesn’t have time to stay in the gym for three hours per day like most bodybuilders.
Training sessions must be efficient, maximizing time without losing any results. Techniques such as performing full body circuits, super setting, and interval training are all effective ways to train in an efficient manner.
Full body circuit training has many benefits including enhancing cardiovascular fitness, challenging the entire body and keeping it fresh. To be like Bond, cardio fitness must be on point and can’t be lagging.
Cardio doesn’t have to be running three miles every day though. It can involve anything that gets the heart rate up and keeps it up. A circuit of push-ups, jumping jacks, sit-ups and squat jumps with little to no rest in between each set hits the entire body with strength and plyometric exercises and keeps the heart rate up.
Training can get stagnant with just a normal weight training routine. That’s why it’s so important to incorporate diverse exercises into a full body circuit to help eliminate the boredom factor.
Should I Add Supersets?
Supersetting is another effective method to help build strength and endurance. The super setting method involves pairing up two exercises and completing them back-to-back with no rest in between.
This can be performed with two exercises of the same muscle group such as push-ups and bench press or with different muscle groups. This advanced training technique helps increase intensity and will burn plenty of calories in the process. Try pairing up chest presses and chest flyes or squats and push-ups to feel the burn of super setting.
What About Interval Training?
Interval training is a great way to build muscle, elevate performance, push your cardio fitness and sizzle the fat away.
Have 20 minutes?
That’s plenty of time to get in a sweat-filled interval training session. Don’t have any equipment? That’s fine. Try performing 10 sets of a 30-second run followed by 30 seconds of rest. In just 10 rounds, plenty of calories will be burned and all the muscles will have been fully activated.
The benefits of interval training continue after the session too as calories are burnt well after the workout due to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or the afterburner effect. The strenuous activity just performed depletes the body’s oxygen reserves so it’s working up to 24 to 36 hours after activity to replenish those stores and bring the body back to a normal resting state.
#3 Real-Life Fitness
When Bond chases his enemies through cities, up and down mountains and on bodies of water, it’s a complex environment. There are obstacles everywhere that he must overcome.
Parkour is a type of training that involves going from one point to another in a complex setting in the fastest way possible. From running to crawling to rolling to jumping, it was developed from military obstacle course training. Parkour does not involve fighting, but, if you exclude that, Bond is a modern-day parkour artist. He uses buildings, cars, trains, stairs and benches to navigate from point A to point B trying to catch villains.
Want to try parkour? Head out to a park and plan a course utilizing obstacles that are already there. Race from start to finish and record your time. Try again next time, but add another wrinkle. After all, Bond never knows what’s coming next.
#4 Fuel Your Body
Training your hardest can break down plenty of barriers. But, if you do not refuel your body properly, it will end up eventually breaking down. Proper nutrition is as important to performance as exercise is. You need both to succeed at a high level. To feel and perform like the world’s best assassin, you must eat like one too.
First, cut out all processed foods. Fast food is off limits. Added sugars in things such as coffee or yogurt should be dropped. Rid the body of these toxic foods that have no benefits. Many of these foods have excess carbs. Instead of consuming these unhealthy choices, opt for whole grains, fruits and vegetables to provide you with plenty of vitamins, minerals and most importantly, energy!
Second, load up on protein. For an athlete, it is highly recommended to consume between 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. If you weigh 90 kilograms, roughly 200 pounds, you should consume between 108 and 153 grams of protein. Protein is the building block for muscles. Ample protein intake is needed, especially when training at a high level. Opt for lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, eggs and beans.
Third, choose healthy fats. Yes, there is such a thing as a healthy fat and this includes unsaturated fats. Great sources of healthy fats include fatty fish such as salmon, almonds, and avocados.
Lastly, try to space out your meals evenly. You should have four to six small meals. This helps avoid overeating and keeps the metabolism regulated throughout the day. You don’t have to be a master chef to look and eat like Bond. Instead, plan the meals. Prepare them ahead of time as much as possible and stick to a well-rounded nutrition plan.
# 5 James Bond Workout
A workout for James Bond must be intense. You should hit the entire body. You must have both cardio and strength benefits and work in all three planes of movement.
Supersets – Perform 3 sets of 10 reps for each exercise.
B2: Forward Lunges
Full Body Conditioning Circuit – Perform 3 rounds with little to no rest between each exercise.
Burpees – 10 reps
Russian Twists – 30 seconds
Oblique Crunches – 10 reps
Box Jumps – 10 reps
Mountain Climbers – 30 seconds
Plank – 30 seconds
Interval Training – Perform a Tabata on the treadmill or outside
The Tabata protocol is where a participant performs 8 rounds of 20 seconds of high-intensity exercise. This is followed by 10 seconds of rest. Sprint on the treadmill or outside for 20 seconds. Then, follow that up with 10 seconds of rest. Do this for 8 rounds.
To achieve the status of James Bond, you must hold a license to kill. That’s not very attainable so the wise move is to instead train your body to perform like him. Bond is not the biggest guy, doesn’t have eye-popping biceps and can’t squat a house like some powerlifters and bodybuilders can. Instead, he has the body of a well-oiled machine, one that can last forever and perform at a high level.
He has exceptional bodyweight strength, being able to pull and push himself to the max. He can run at high speeds for long periods of time due to his exceptional cardio. His muscles are all in sync, from his primary movers to assisters to stabilizers. For everything to work properly at this level, his body must be well maintained. Utilizing these techniques and testing your limits will help build that Bond-like body. The only thing that’s missing is a medium dry martini, lemon peel. Shaken, not stirred.
By Adam Clark, CPT