Featured image by Shahril KHMD
The world’s most famous spy has become a fitness idol after Daniel Craig’s performance in Casino Royale. Brawn and brain in a perfect combo! Intense, muscle packed action and a level of fitness previously not found in any other Bond actor.
To me, the ultimate display of strength and agility is the scene from Skyfall where Craig jumps onto a moving elevator in a series of zigzag leaps and hangs on for what… 30 floors? Honestly, Craig doesn’t have the right to look like that at his age! After watching him run, jump, twist, power punch and generally kick ass in dazzling combinations it’s kind of hard not to ask yourself “how can I do that?” or “how can I look like that?”.
Mind over Matter
True physical fitness is achieved through training mind and body and then using the two to gain skills that enhance your ability to perform any physical activity of your choice – occupational or recreational. In the interest of brevity, I’ll take a short cut for mind training and move on to what people really want to do – Bond-like action.
The Bond Attitude – Do or Die
In short, the right mindset means knowing what you want and consciously pushing yourself to achieve it (drive), not giving up when you hit a bump (determination) and keeping your eyes on the target (discipline). The 3Ds are what makes you push yourself just a little bit closer to your goal no matter what’s in your way or how tired you are.
The first aim of any training program is to develop basic strength or muscle power. This means both endurance as well as the maximum force your muscles can produce in a given time. Endurance training is more commonly known as cardio or aerobic training and is used to increase stamina, kill fat, and build muscle tone. This has the obvious effect of increasing your metabolic rate. Any kind of endurance training has three main factors – intensity, duration and frequency. Find out what works for you by following these simple steps:
Step 1: Find out your Maximum Heart Rate. MHR = 220 – (your age).
Step 2: Calculate your aerobic training zone. This is between 60-80 percent of your maximum heart rate.
Step 3: Choose your favorite cardio workout (running, elliptical, dance workout), try it at different intensity levels for about 10 minutes then measure your pulse.
Step 4: Schedule endurance training 3-5 times a week for about 20-60 minutes depending on your current fitness level.
Endurance training can be combined with Plyometric Training to build power. Plyometric exercises are high intensity training techniques used to ‘power-train’ muscles. Lets break it down.
Power = (Force*Distance)/Time
Looking at this equation, the simplest way to build muscle power is to minimize distance and time i.e. static exercises for fixed time periods. Plyometric exercises work your muscles like a spring – stretch before contracting to get more force. Try it out yourself. Stand up straight and jump as high as you can. Try it again, but this time squat and then jump. The second jump will be higher because when you squat, you stretch your muscles like a spring. Jumping up after the squat gives you more force because of the spring recoil.
The aim of plyometric exercises is thus to increase the force produced by your muscles by maximizing the number of repetitions of any exercise in a given time duration. Here are some low intensity exercises you can try at home:
- Squat jumps
- Jump to box (or stair)
- Zigzag hops
- Burpees (also called suicide jumps for a very good reason)
Finally, flexibility is vital to muscle health. Stretching before and after a training session reduces the risk of muscle tear and also increases dexterity.
Need for Speed – The Bond Zone
Strength and endurance training give you a better body. But Bond doesn’t just have a better body – he’s capable of “Matrix” like leaps and bounds and can outrun anything that moves!
The key components of Speed Training are:
- Velocity (how fast can you move)
- Agility (how fast can you stop or change your movement)
- Speed Endurance (how long can you keep it up)
A Speed Training program is a measured combination of all three components and will depend on the physical activity you’re interested in. Speed Training is mainly for athletes (and hot looking international spies) – a sprinter will focus on velocity and a marathon runner on endurance. A training program for a basket ball player will always include exercises to improve agility.Author Profile:
Ali Jan Qadir is passionate about art, food and fitness. He loves to shares things he has learned by experience. He is a contributor for the best mattress blog, where he answers questions like, which is the best mattress. If you want to learn more about him visit his twitter profile@alijanness.