Is Daniel Craig’s ‘007’ TOO Physically Fit?


Skyfall, Scope Pictures

In a Washington Post Op-Ed, Richard Cohen laments the way in which leading men in their middle age have gone from Cary Grant’s effortless, elegant athletic body type to the labored, chiseled and perfected body of 44 year-old Daniel Craig as James Bond.

This Bond ripples with muscles. Craig is 44, but neither gravity nor age has done its evil work on him. Nothing about him looks natural, relaxed — a man in the prime of his life and enjoying it. Instead, I see a man chasing youth on a treadmill, performing sets and reps, a clean and press, a weighted knee raise, an incline pushup and, finally, something called an incline pec fly (don’t ask). I take these terms from the Daniel Craig Workout, which you can do, too, if your agent and publicist so insist.

Is that was being 44 is supposed to look like? Are you expected to do the incline pec fly in order to have 0% body fat and abs that rival Ryan Gosling?

Cohen explains a time he longs for, a time when bodily perfection wasn’t the only quality found attractive in a man:

To appreciate what I mean, contrast this new Bond to Roger O. Thornhill, the charmingly hapless advertising man played by Cary Grant in “North by Northwest.” Like Bond, Thornhill pulls off some amazing physical feats — his mad frantic escape from the crop duster, the traverse of Mount Rushmore — and like Bond he wears an expensive suit. Unlike Bond, though, when he takes it off we do not see some marbleized man, an ersatz creation of some trainer, but a fit man, effortlessly athletic and just as effortlessly sophisticated…

In “North by Northwest” and other movies, Grant — for all his good looks — represented the triumph of the sexual meritocracy — a sex appeal won by experience and savoir-faire, not delts and pecs and other such things that any kid can have. He was not alone in this. Gary Cooper in “High Noon” wins Grace Kelly by strength of character, not muscles.

What do you think? Does Daniel Craig’s bodily perfection in Skyfall set the bar too high for guys who would rather rely upon the strength of their character?

Does the new ideal of 007 make the everyday man feel bad about himself?

About The Good Feed Blog Editors


  1. It’s a new Bond in a New World where age if viewed correctly (not in the rear view mirror) will translate to men who “maintain” their true strengths while keeping their boyish-collegiate physical forms. Yes the older actors have everything this new bond has, “back then” they would have been considered hot bla bla bla. Universe turns and now 44 physically can look 24 and the girls (and my mom) go yeah he’s hot and us fit forty year old guys that never stopped working out can go “I’m 44” and see the mouths hit the floor, just sayin…

  2. Wasn’t it recently discovered that to lose fat…exercise does sweet fuck all compared to restricting intake? That it takes too much exercise to reduce weight effectively? I know adding muscle mass increases your BMR which helps but things like cardio don’t help all that much?

    • lyonel lyons says:

      I say hooray. If Craig wants to go shirtless, pantless and sockless, I am all for it. AS for setting the bar rather high for the majority of men–AMEN–They should ALL approximate his physique!~
      AS for diet and exercise . . .bs. Those who are hot are generally genetically predisposed that way. I am a fat and happy camper. I cannot be buff unless I get surgery, exercise every day and cut intake. No sacrifices for me, thank you. I look at the long list of those who were fit and died young (and without Cheetohs). THAT is a tragedy.

  3. Ugh. This belly-aching is exhausting. As a woman, why don’t we just replace Daniel Craig in this sentence for nearly every fracking woman in any major film ever? “Does _________’s bodily perfection l set the bar too high for women who would rather rely upon the strength of their character?”
    Or does character not matter for the likes of us?

    • Revo Luzione says:

      No, Allison, character matters for women, in movies and in life. Just not as much as being hot.
      Hotness >>character.

      Don’t blame us, it’s evolution talking. You should know by now that a woman’s attractive features are attractive precisely because they demonstrate reproductive fitness. These preferences are hard-wired.

      Women’s preferences for men being physically attractive are there too, but not nearly so strong. THere are far more qualities that go into the equation.

      • Oh that hoary chestnut, “hardwired evolution.” Puh-leeze.

        “You should know by now that a woman’s attractive features are attractive precisely because they demonstrate reproductive fitness. These preferences are hard-wired.” What exactly are those preferences, then? The Venus of Willendorf? The Venus of Laussel? Venus Williams? Or Marilyn Monroe? Kate Moss?

        Evolutional psychology is pseudo-science that tries to absolve the power-holders from feeling guilt about they way they treat those with less power. Which is why you can get off saying that a woman’s hotness matters more than her character and not feel like a total jerk.

        If attraction to certain traits are so “hard-wired” in men, why is there no a universal beauty standard based solely on hip size? This is such an obnoxious, small-minded argument it’s offensive.

        “Women’s preferences for men being physically attractive are there too, but not nearly so strong.” <>

        • Oh, and by the way, I’m a neuroscientist, and let me tell you that 90% of what people claim is “hard-wired” is anything but.

          Read Delusions of Gender if you actually care about science instead of absolving your guilt by using anecdotes and pseudoscience.

          • This is why I date French and Italian men.

            They are far, far less invested in proving that some social and cultural construct, in which Americans have been so steeped they’re practically brainwashed, is “hard-wired”.

            • You were complaining on the other thread about women never being approached. Its refreshing to hear you get to date good looking French and Italian men

  4. The First Joe says:

    Swim 1km as fast as you can twice a week. (about 30mins in the pool with warm downs)

    Weight train: bench press, upright rowing, squats twice a week (about 15 to 20 mins)

    Do stretches and some crunches, push-ups, pull-ups, stretching and a bit of Tai Chi more or less daily.

    Eat plenty of good protein, try to get 8hrs good sleep. Walk / use stairs whenever possible.

    Have at least one rest day per week (pref. two if you’re over forty) where you only stretch (no resistance excercises)

    that’s what I do. You might not be as iron as Danny Craig, but you’ll probs be in decent nick.

  5. An educated, emotionally intelligent person is way hotter than a brute with a six-pack…just saying. There is more to attraction than physical appearance. I’d be more interested in a person who put 20 hours per week into his or her dissertation than 20 hours per week at the gym… just sayin’

    • An educated, emotionally intelligent person with an athletic fit bodies ( for men ) and slim curvy bodies ( for women ) is way hotter than educated intelligent person with fat bellies and saggy boobs…… just sayin’

      You dont need to spend 20 hours a week at the gym, just 4-6 hours…….just sayin.

  6. I can’t say I’ve ever been that bothered by Bond in that way, but out of all the Bonds Craig’s probably bothers me the least. Probably because they ditched half the sauve/knowitall bollocks from his personality of the previous films.

  7. Fat women need to be told they are desirable, they are made to feel good about themselves…
    “Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes”. Then we have BBW, chubby chaser phenomena. We talk about how fat women are discriminated in the dating scene. We talk about fat women’s self esteem. We encourage them to embrace their curves and fat rolls. We say “Real men desire women with meat on their bones…not 12 yr old boys” to encourage change in men’s preferences.

    The fat men, on the other hand, can just go to hell. I mean everybody knows a fat man is a two-penny, right? Fat men aren’t supposed to be desirable. What kind of a woman would desire a fat man? Women find their bodies repulsive, disgusting, totally un-sexual, unappealing etc. Fat men are like teddy bears at best. Why would a fat man want to feel desirable anyway? Desirability is only a woman’s domain. Men’s bodies can only be deemed desirable if they belong to Alpha Greek Gods.

    Meanwhile in the real world, women the size of a small car are getting laid left and right. They have a steady stream of fit young men to have sex with. They don’t even have to settle for undesirable fat men.

    Women need to stop acting like oversized children.

  8. John Smith says:

    I love that people talk about Daniel Craig, ripped abbs and big pecks as being something to aspire to. Take a look at the physical abuse of your body that you have to go through. It’s all well and good saying “you just need to put a little effort in” but take a look at the effect on life expectancy of top athletes. Broken joints, diabetes, heart problems. Then take a look at the sports that don’t have these problems. 0% body fat and six packs are not healthy, and all Daniel Craig dose is cause some to men to push themselves to far. We live in a world of excess, and too thin is just as bad as too fat, and looking like that is most defiantly not normal or healthy.

    • Amen!

    • Revo Luzione says:

      Another false construct from someone who clearly doesn’t understand fitness nor nutrition.

      Working out with proper form helps your joints, not hurts them. Working out and eating right cures diabetes, not causes it. Working out with weights, and/or intermittent, but brief intense exercise, like intervals, heals and strengthens the heart, not damages it.

      Life expectancy of “top athletes” is not what we’re talking about. American foot ball & soccer, hockey & rugby all involve a lot of concussive impact, so that’s not germane to the conversation.

      Point of fact: 0% body fat, mentioned both in your comment and in the article, is physiologically impossible. Even Tour De France cyclists don’t get below 5%. Daniel Craig, conservatively is between 7-10% body fat, hardly a zero number.

      Take a look at photos of American Indians or Australian Aboriginals who still maintain their original cultural lifestyles: they’re built and cut. Want a European example: Michealangelo’s David.

      Your strawman arguments belie someone who spends too much time on the couch rationalizing excuses for subpar health. Stop whining and take up a sport you enjoy.

      Again, get some education on fitness before you go spouting off nonsense.

  9. While I acknowledge your reaction at Daniel Craig’s physique, I can’t help but wonder if the real problem is that 007 has become too physically fit and lifted the standards too high, or that the average American is too physically unfit and lowered the standards too low?

  10. Daniel Craig is an inspiration and at the same time a curse on mankind. Let me explain. To ‘old timers’ like me (58 and counting) who hit the gym 3X a week for 2-21/2 hours each time (my 21 year old son tried to keep up with me and couldn’t). Now I realize at my somewhat advanced age, I’ll never ever look like Daniel Craig and I’m fine with that. I’ll just push to be the best I can be. I’m old and married to the same woman for 37 years. She might swoon over Craig but face it, she’s my age and isn’t going anywhere. The young men I see at the gym however, their up against it. Women today are quite vocal as to what they want in a man. I call it the 2-6-8. 2pecs, 6 pack abs, and 8″ cock. Don’t believe me? Goggle ‘Erotica for Women’ and look at the guys. Look how many flocked to the movie theaters to see ‘Magic Mike’ (not to mention how they sell out the places that have the ‘Real Thing’) Look at the guys in a little magizene for the ladies that sells almost 4 million copies a month called Playgirl! Oh, and while I’m on a roll here, Womens Health magazine had an online (twitter) survey that got something like over 20K responses. And guess what over 70% of women responding said? Drum roll please; SIZE MATTERS!

  11. Revo Luzione says:

    “Is Daniel Craig’s ’007′ TOO Physically Fit?”


    Signed, men who understand fitness & health.
    (H/T to the poster above, thcatbastet for the easy cut & paste.)

    “Does the new ideal of 007 make the everyday man feel bad about himself?”

    No, he should make the everyman feel *good* about himself, knowing that this level of physique is possible at age 44, or just about any age. (See Jack LaLanne at age 90 for example).

    Look, it’s not all that blasted hard to look like Ol’ Danny Craig, at 34, 44, 54, or later, for any man with average genetics. Simple, really: eat a paleo diet, lift heavy, don’t overtrain, get good sleep. You don’t have to work out hours a day to look like this. Simply eat a nutrient dense, macronutrient-balanced diet, stay active, and work out heavy 2x-3x weekly. Less than 4 hours a week total commitment. It’s legit. I highly recommend the Four Hour Body, by Tim Ferris, and the Paleo Diet by Robb Wolf. Really, you can get there if you put your mind and heart into it.

    This stuff’s not rocket surgery, folks. It simply requires commitment to a workout plan and the ability to say no to processed foods. Yes, bread is a processed food. So is beer. Can’t give it up? Then it isn’t important to you to reach optimal health. But don’t begrudge those of us who can do it. (Like the old hair commercial used to say, “don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”

    The folks whining about Daniel Craig’s physique as an “impossible ideal” speak ever more loudly about their own inability to investigate and understand the workings their own mind and body, to experiment with various food regimens and training programs, than about the semiotics of 007’s buffness. I, for one, applaud the Bond dynasty for showing how it’s done. Bravo!

  12. Dan’l Craig is in shape, but it’s a rather attainable shape–unlike Arnold’s physique in, say, “Commando.” And good reference to Cary Grant in “North by Northwest.” And don’t forget skinny Jimmy Stewart, who was a real-life war hero.

  13. wellokaythen says:

    I’ve seen him in _Skyfall_. In some scenes he has a facial stubble with a lot of white hairs in it. My body is exactly like his, if only in terms of facial hair.

    I’m willing to work out more than I do now and eat better and hope I have a body a little more like that, but I’m not an idiot. He’s got genetics, a lifetime of good habits, personal trainers, and millions of dollars in incentives on his side. Not to mention good lighting, expertly tailored clothes, airbrushing, and a body double or two. Besides, even if I became a gym rat, there’s no way in hell I’m going to wax all my body hair to be as smooth as he is. You want me to be a man without chest hair? Too bad.

    Let’s dial back the whole “victimhood from mass media” schtick. I find it way overblown.

  14. The issue for me is that a muscular physique is not necessarily a sign of good health. We too often focus on the superficial instead of what’s important.
    Health and fitness are goals we all should strive for, but with limited time and energy they come into conflict with other goals. If you concentrate on being fit and healthy you’ll probably have an attractive physique, but not necessarily like Daniel Craig.
    On the other hand, if you focus on looking good you may end up going down the dark path of steroid use or end up with body image issues (if you didn’t have them already.
    The question is, what level of fitness is necessary for your health and well-being, and how much time are you wiling to invest in it? It’s a matter of finding balance and being a well-rounded individual. As the article pointed out, physical attractiveness isn’t the only quality in a man. Spend time exercising, but not too much. Spend time reading, but not too much. Spend time… I think you get the point.

    • This is other stereotypical views I got from men who are not really into fitness and working out. They look at male with good bodies and assumed they are on steroids, they focus too much on looks, they spend too much working out.

      First, getting a body like Daniel Craig is not that hard, its attainable naturally without steroids. So, you could be healthy and looks good. Second, Having a body like that doesn’t necessary mean you are obsessed with how you looks, sometimes you want to get healthy and looks good. Whats wrong with that? I want to look good for myself and for my girlfriend, but it doesn’t mean I get obsessed with superficial issue like looks, I still focus on other things like social skills and studying. Third, getting a body like that only needs working out for one and a half hours three times a week. Its not really much time to invest. You could still have a good time with your family or friends, and still have time to working or studying.

  15. I’ll say the same thing here that I say in articles about female models. Who ever said someone else’s beauty was something we are supposed to attain? The problem isn’t that someone else is more fit, beautiful even unrealistically so. The problem is in this idea that it is somehow a commentary on the rest of us slugs. We don’t look at Michealangelo’s David and say, “Is this what I am expected to look like? Is this body realistic for me to ‘attain?'” Attaining comes with the idea that we are supposed to go out and buy something to make up for our shortcomings. The problem is not that we like to look at examples of people who are extreme examples of what we call beautiful in the moment. We watch sports to see the best players– people who play at a level we can’t attain. We listen to musicians who play at a level we can’t attain. We say, how wonderful that this person can do that. Well why not say, “how wonderful that person looks like that”?

    Instead of trying to keep Hollywood from showing us the beauty and fantasy perfection we like to see, we need to change this attitude that we’re somehow supposed to be that person. That’s a marketing-driven mentality. That is not healthy. By the way, I’m 43. 44 doesn’t seem to me like an impossibly old age to be very fit if you are so inclined.

    • Who ever said someone else’s beauty was something we are supposed to attain?

      Don’t know – but who ever it was managed to say it to enough advertising execs often enough to convince them it is 100% true.

    • Laura Lee

      Women can be chubby and still be sexually desirable.
      Men can only be considered desirable if they are fit, lean, tall, muscular.

      What was the last time you hot on a fat/chubby man ?
      But you know plenty of men love chubby women.

      • Tim there is a particular word which so many forget to spell correctly – in fact it’s so badly spelled people are just blinded to the spelling errors. So I’ll so a few spelling corrections of what you have written. P^)

        Women can be chubby and still be “Marketed as” sexually desirable.
        Men can only be considered “for marketing as sexually “ desirable if they are fit, lean, tall, muscular.

        What was the last time you hot on a fat/chubby man ?
        But you know plenty of men love chubby women.

        Them “Spelling Bees” just aint what they used to be.

  16. I love uber-fit movie stars, like Daniel Craig, Jason Statham, and Gilles Marini…their awesome athletic forms makes the fight scenes more believable…!

    They’re inspirational…not meant for the average Joe….they probably work out several hours a day!

  17. I do find it interesting that Daniel Craige has been one actor who has not had body issues from the start of his carer. he would happily get naked and have his nudger on stage or camera … and he was just a happily buff guy who acted bleeding well.

    Now he’s 44 – Bond – the aesthetic is all tied to marketing – and I’m wondering which male product has been tied to the film and as part of the advertising contracts Mr Craigs body has been made into a commodity for control by contract!

    That 6 pack looks stirred to me and not shaken – and it has so many sub clauses it has removed all body hair too!

  18. I’d echo what a couple of others have said – seeing what he can achieve at 44 should make you recognise its not too late to get fitter and stronger.

    Of course he had a ton of help, but deciding at halfway through your life that you’re just gonna let your body ‘happen’ and allow yourself to lose strength, muscle, gain a belly, lose any stamina you ever had is just laziness.

    Just because you can’t look like Daniel Craig doesn’t mean you can’t turn yourself into a more awesome version of your current self. Of course long workouts and strict diets are unfeasible for older guys with jobs, families and other priorities, but if you work smart and focus on short intense workouts and simple dietary changes you can get in better shape without turning your life upside down.

  19. “Cohen explains a time he longs for, a time when bodily perfection wasn’t the only quality found attractive in a man:”

    “What do you think? Does Daniel Craig’s bodily perfection in Skyfall set the bar too high for guys who would rather rely upon the strength of their character? ”

    I wonder about this. So what if bodily perfection isn’t the only quality found attractive in a man? Do you really think Daniel Craig and other physically fit men are only having good bodies but no character?

    Why cant guys be physically fit and smart and have strong, masculine character, yet can be emotional and sensitive too?

    As a college guy who pursuing a science degree , writing music and playing guitar for my indie band, and likes to lift weights, I hate it when we always stereotyped about stupid brainless guy who don’t have anything to do besides working out

    I’m sorry if this kind of image makes men who are not confident with their own bodies feel insecure, but I don’t see how an example of a 44 years old man who have physically fit bodies are a bad example. You can be a man with strong character and strong fit bodies, you don’t always have to choose one!!

    • Thank you.

      So what if you were overweight and intelligent, caring, compassionate, what have you? Do you trade that in at the gym as you start to lose weight and get in shape? Good grief.

      It’s not a zero sum game, as Cohen would like you to believe. Get a grip on your own insecurities, Richard.

  20. Every person has to make their own decisions about what they feel comfortable with as far as their own fitness level. You have to love and be happy with yourself. It’s easy for both men and women to compare themselves to what they see in the media, but in the end you’re stuck with yourself. You have to make the most of it and not complain when you sit around doing nothing. I speak as a 44yo female who is very fit. But that’s how I choose to be. It makes me happy, so I put in the work. Do I look like a movie star? No, but I look the best I can for me. Mr. Craig has put in the time for his profession, and maybe for his own satisfaction. Who knows? But I don’t think it sets up unattainable expectations. He’s simply the best him. I consider him an inspiration.

  21. thecatbastet says:

    “Is Daniel Craig’s ’007′ TOO Physically Fit?”


    Signed, Women

  22. Thing is Bond portrayals have always set the bar high when it comes to masculinity. Set to over the top levels even. If you look back at past movies Bond has been pulling off fairly amazing feats of physicality that were not limited to the bedroom. I mean come on in “You Only Live Twice” we’re supposed to believe that Connery was beating up people who spent their entire lives training in the martial arts?

    The images of Craig just put more of an image to it than before.

    • Mr Supertypo says:

      ” Connery was beating up people who spent their entire lives training in the martial arts?”

      Are you sure it was Connery? I remember Roger More…but I may be mistaken.

      • Connery –

        1) Dr No – rather large fight sequence with Dr NO – martial arts inspired
        2) Goldfinger – Odd Job anyone
        3) You only live twice – set in Japan and whilst most of the Ninja Inspired fighting and killing was not done by James, it was implied that he could break anyone’s neck by just flexing an eyebrow.

        When it comes to Roger Moore – the only time people generally remember him even throwing a punch is when swung for Jaws Nuts and a rather odd clunk came back ( Moon Raker ) and that was enough to induce some male bonding and for jaws to swap sides… that and the unlikely love of a diminutive Arian blond with pig tails.

        Given what has gone before in the Growth of the Bond Franchise and Image – One wonders what will come next. Today Six Pack – Next Movie a 14 inch Wang with remote missile launcher?

  23. The only way I would see Daniel Craig’s body being a negative influence on men is if his on screen image was computer enhanced. If he can look that good at 44, then more power to him. And can provide us forty-somethings with inspiration for what is possible rather than self-loathing for what is.


    • I mostly see it as “what is possible” when it’s a requirement in your job description, something you can work on full-time, AND have a full staff of managers, PT’s and dietists, among others, scheduling the days for you. 🙂

      With that said, I’m almost on his level regarding the bodyfat. However, regarding the biceps, pecs and abs I’m nowhere in the same universe…

      • GirlGlad4theGMP says:

        Precisely, that’d be the point. It may be a condition of his employment. Like having a degree to work at some jobs and others require physical aptitude but no education. Heck if I got paid what Craig does and a major condition of that employment was to maintain my physique, I’d sign up faster than you could say Cardio Barre.
        I say may because it is also possible that he trains a great deal also for his own enjoyment, kind of like Crossfitters or marathoners.
        Is a perfect physique at 44 the new something to strive for? I hope not, and I certainly don’t see any evidence of it around me. As I age, I see the people around me looking less to idealize body shape in their (potential) partners, and moreso a group of factors, mostly personality-based.

    • I agree. What’s wrong with looking good and being fit? Why is this:

      “effortlessly athletic and just as effortlessly sophisticated”

      not as clearly a mirage as abs on a 40-something? If not more so… because the guy does have abs. But athleticism and sophistication do take effort. Most just won’t make it, right or wrong, for whatever reasons.

  24. If you’re feeling insecure because of Daniel Craig’s body, you probably need to stop watching Bond movies and start visiting a therapist. That makes about as much sense as feeling insecure about your love life because it doesn’t match up to Sean Connery’s effortless seductions back in the day.

    Bond is OTT fantasy: always has been, always will be. In fact it was deliberately designed as escapist fantasy for British people in the grim, depressing years following WWII: that’s why so little Bond in the early movies actually takes place in Britain, as Fleming hated what Britain became and much preferred exotic locales like the Caribbean. Craig’s magnificent body is just another reflection of that tradition.

    If you can’t distinguish art from reality then you’ve got the problem. Not the art.

    • I agree with you in spirit, CmE, but for one distinction: Bond may be fantasy but Daniel Craig is a real person to whom real men may compare themselves.

      In response to the article in general: it used to be that we admired actors (or actresses, more likely) that “aged gracefully” by refusing to undergo plastic surgery. Are we now including “excessive” exercise as a violation of aging gracefully? Dedication to fitness, even bordering on the obsessive, would seem to be more “natural” (and healthy) than going under the knife, but would not have seemed natural to earlier generations (like that of Cary Grant–who was, incidentally, my first role model of what a man should be).

      • Sure, Craig is a real person, but he’s playing a specific role. I’d be surprised if he was in “Bond shape” all the time: Tom Hardy and Christian Bale, in particular, have undergone huge weight swings in response to the demands of specific roles.

        • This is exactly it. Actors are masters of making their bodies over for roles. This wasn’t something most actors did in films in Carey Grant’s day – but it’s becoming de rigeur now.

          As an actor, I have grow beards, shaved my head, lost and gained weight, worn dresses and dressed like a cowboy – it’s all part of a role.

    • My thing is, if you care, do something about it. It’s not the hardest thing in the world to look up some daily exercises, google how to cook healthy food for cheap, and then to stick with it. I spend an hour a working out. Those that workout with me are in a varying degree of fitness, but they tend to put as much effort into it as they are willing to get the looks out of it. We will all vary, but if you put true effort all around (food, sleep, exercise, mental health), then you will be more than happy with the results. You just can’t go for the instant results and easy, simple work ethic. It takes time, it takes effort, and it yields great results. Welcome to life!

Speak Your Mind