Why Daniel Craig’s ‘No Time to Die’ Training Doesn’t Include ‘Big Weightlifting’

No Time to Die / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Eon Productions
No Time to Die / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / Eon Productions

It’s Daniel Craig’s fifth go as Bond. He tells Men’s Journal why the latest (No Time to Die) is as tough as the first (Casino Royale), as well as the diet, training, and recovery principles he follows to transform into a bona fide superspy. — As told to Charles Thorp

Men’s Journal: Over the years, a lot of your roles have required physical prowess. What makes Bond, or more specifically No Time to Die, different?

Daniel Craig: In my experience, training for a Bond movie is completely unique. If I can, I start a year before we begin shooting and build slowly. I try to avoid the “last-minute” thing. You get less injuries that way. Notice I say less!

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Getting a glimpse at your ‘No Time to Die’ workout regimen, it’s incredibly intense. What’s the hardest part for you?

The real challenge is just getting used to the routine. The day starts in the gym. Every day. It’s a ball ache at first, but it does get easier.

What’s your diet like when you’re in the throes of heavy training?

Simple and very healthy. I do like to keep it as natural as possible, with natural ingredients when I can. I don’t do a lot of shakes unless it’s immediately after a workout.

Do you do a lot of your stunts?

I’m fortunate to be surrounded by the best stunt people in the business. They’re the ones who take all the big risks. If there is a stunt I think I can do, then I will. Staying as supple as possible is the key—so no big weightlifting in the gym.

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Everyone’s obsessed with recovery these days. What’s your philosophy on it?

It’s simple. Plenty of sleep and a good diet. There are sadly no tricks or shortcuts. I have amazing people [like trainer Simon Waterson] around me to guide, and without them it would be impossible.

You’ve been Bond for 15 years. How has your approach to training changed?

As I get older, it definitely takes longer. But it’s all about putting the work in, to be honest.

So peak fitness for you is preparing for a Bond picture. When you’re not filming a movie, what’s your gym routine?

It goes without saying that regular exercise is good for you, but you have to get your head into the gym as well! I think mental health is more important than physical health, because if your head is in the right place, a little exercise doesn’t feel so bad. But for God’s sake, don’t listen to people like me. Walk your own path.

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Want some behind-the-scenes intel on what it was like on an average day on set? Here you have it:

No Time to Die Daily Drill

  • 5:30 a.m.: Craig woke up at home in London and drove an hour to Pinewood Studios.
  • 7 a.m.: Preshoot physical prep with Waterson, which included muscle activation and stretching.
  • 8 a.m.: Craig ate an energy-filled, anti-inflammatory breakfast.
  • 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Filming began, with periods of action and dialogue. There was a pause for lunch, two snack breaks, plus occasional 15- to 20-minute intermissions for Waterson to do recovery work (think stretching and using a percussive tool).
  • 7:45 p.m.: Carb-heavy dinner and debrief before Craig returned to London.
  • 10:30 p.m.: Last-minute script work, and bed. Rest and repeat.

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No Time to Die’s new release date is November 25, 2020

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