Spy School: A Training and Diet Plan to Get as Fit as James Bond

Spy School: A Training and Diet Plan to Get as Fit as James Bond
A Double O has to be strong, fast, and athletic. We'll have you ready for the spy academy in no time.

If you are like me you are fairly stoked for the new James Bond movie Skyfall. If you need a little change from the superhero/supervillian, Batman and Avenger stuff then you are ready for an action spy thriller with style, action and the ever so anticipated twisted plot.

Of course this inspired me to think about how a spy like 007 would train and eat when not kicking ass and saving the world and the girl. How would he schedule his time, workouts, and meals? What strategy would he put into action to stay in shape (or maybe initially get into that kind of shape in the first place)?

I came up with my own list of requirements needed to accomplish the mission of being a functionally fit, mobile spy with the side effect of looking pretty damn good at the same time.

Very little equipment needed: A double O doesn’t have the time or patience to look for an upscale, fully stocked gym. More importantly, he can’t afford to wait around for popular pieces of equipment when doing circuits or supersets.

Full of variation: Not only will variation keep the body guessing, adapting and changing but it will also allow for easy and practical substitutions when other equipment or areas are not available. This will serve him well when he needs to think quickly on his feet.

Time efficient: The workouts must be relatively short in duration. By keeping his workouts from 45 minutes to an hour long he will ensure he is putting in the correct amount of work and intensity which leads us to our next point.

Intense: Since he is watching the clock intensity will be at an all time high. However, this will only result in more muscle built and more fat lost.

Functional: Functionality is a must for this type of life. Not only will it serve him well on missions but it will also help stay fit and injury-free during everyday activity. As a side benefit, this will also make the training fun and keep motivation levels high.

The diet must be practical: A double O is busy so a diet that requires a ton of preparation and cooking is not in the plans. Meals need to be quickly made and easily accessible.

The diet must be mobile: Meals should be transportable and ready to eat. The last thing he needs is to be caught off guard and having to turn to unhealthy options. If he does find himself trapped, he will know where to go to find the best alternatives.

Daniel Craig definitely looks the part!

The Workouts

Do workouts ABC and D once per week (such as Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) with Wednesday and weekends off. On off days feel free to partake in other activities outside of the gym.

For HIIT cardio (high intensity interval training) start with a 2-3 minute warm-up then do 30 seconds of high intensity work then 2 minutes of low intensity. Each week increase the high intensity work and decrease the low intensity work by 30 seconds (High/low): 60 sec/90 sec, 90 sec/60 sec, and 120/30.

Perform this workout for 4 to 6 weeks before taking a short break or switching programs.

There is no rest between supersets. Rest 1-2 minutes after all supersets are completed and before moving on to the next superset group.

Workouts A and B are designed with the minimal equipment available mindset. A double O travels quite extensively so he may not have access to a well-fitted gym or any gym at all!

The following upper/lower body split will build total body power and strength with the addition of only some light dumbbells or strength bands and a pull-up bar – both very mobile while on a mission. Don’t hesitate to mix up the order either – thinking on your feet is a necessity in this game.

Workout A

Warm-up sets
Work sets
Superset: 3-way push-up (First set: feet elevated, second set: feet on floor and third set: hands elevated on bench) and close parallel-grip pull-up
2 x 10-20
3 x AMAP
Superset: Clean and press with dumbbells or bands and elbows wide inverted row
3 x AMAP: As Many As Possible
Superset: Shoulder-width or wider pull-up and dumbbell or banded chest press off of floor
1 x 10-20
3 x 10-20
Superset: Dumbbell or banded curl and dumbbell or banded kickback
1 x 10-20
3 x 10-16
Superset: Plank and bicycle crunch
3 x 20-30 seconds on planks and 15-20 on crunches
Cardio: 15-20 minutes of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Your choice of type
See notes above

Workout B

Warm-up sets
Work sets
Superset: Single leg Bulgarian split squat and single leg dumbbell calf raise
2 x 10-20
3 x 10-16 each
Superset: Box jump and walking lunge
3 x 10-16
Superset: Farmer’s walk with dumbbells and heel raise off of floor
3 lengths of walks and 10-20 reps of raises
Superset: Floor crunch and leg lift off of bench
3 x 15-20 each
Cardio: 15-20 minutes of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Your choice of type
See notes above

Workouts C and D are for those agents with some gym equipment but don’t want to be bogged down with too many stations to wait on. Even though you will want to stay quick and agile, you will still need to build some muscle and strength for those throw-downs and made-it-by-the-skin-of-my-teeth escapes! The workouts below will build some quality muscle when you finally do find yourself on your home turf and a minimally equipped gym is readily available.

Workout C

Warm-up sets
Work sets
Superset: Incline dumbbell press and two-arm dumbbell row 
2 x 10-20
3 x 10-16
Superset: incline dumbbell fly and one arm dumbbell row
3 x 10-16
Triset: 3-way dumbbell raise (bent-over, side lateral and front raise) no rest
3 x 10 each angle
Superset: Parallel dip and barbell curl
1 x 10-20
3 x 10-16
Superset: 3-way twisted sit-up and Roman chair leg lift
3 x 15-20
Cardio: 15-20 minutes of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Your choice of type
See notes above

Workout D

Warm-up sets
Work sets
Superset: Front squat and Romanian deadlift
2 x 10-20
3 x 10-16
Superset: Jump squat (no weight) and reverse lunge
3 x 10-16
Superset: Seated calf raise and calf jump
3 x 10-16
Superset: Russian twist and hanging leg raise
3 x 15-20
Cardio: 15-20 minutes of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Your choice of type
See notes above

The Diet:

Be sure to drink at least one gallon of water throughout the day.

Approximate totals: Calories – 2650 calories, 180 grams of protein, 300 grams of carbs, 65 grams of fat.

This diet is designed for the 180 pound male. You may adjust portions according to your body weight.

If you are to adjust calories, try manipulating carbs first.

Allow yourself one or two “cheat” meals per week preferably on the same day on the weekend.

Meal 1
½ cup oatmeal combined with 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter, cinnamon and sweeten with Splenda
3 whole eggs scrambled or 1 scoop of whey protein combined with water
Meal 2
1 cup of Greek yogurt
2 oz. of mixed nuts
Meal 3
4-6 oz. of turkey or chicken, 2 slices of whole wheat bread or Ezekiel bread, 2 tbsp of low-fat mayo, lettuce and 2 slices of low fat cheese
1 banana
Meal 4
(Pre workout) 1 apple1 scoop of whey protein combined with 1 cup of skim milk
Meal 5
(Post workout) 1-2 scoops of whey protein combined with 1 cup of skim milk
Meal 6
6-8 oz. of lean beef, fish, chicken or turkey
1 cup of mixed vegetables or any vegetable of your choice
½ medium sweet potato or ½ cup of rice, cooked

Brad is the founder of BradBorland.com. He is a consultant, writer, fitness specialist, husband and father. He earned his Master's degree in Kinesiology, is a member of the Air National Guard and is a cancer survivor.

  • Carlos

    Any recommendations on making the diet portion vegetarian friendly?

    • Brent

      THIS ^

    • JohnnyT

      This ^

      Also, you don’t want to drink any milk pre-workout.

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  • Arden

    I’ve read that doing HIIT cardio on the same day as your resistance training and attempting it on successive days isn’t recommended. Are these claims overly cautious?

  • Karl

    Also any recommendations for lactose and gluten intolerant folks?

  • jacobcrim

    Excuse me, where does my caviar and foie gras fit in to the diet?

  • Daniel

    Advertising the use of Splenda is ill advised. Splenda is a synthetic sugar substitute that’s been shown to cause issues with the digestive tract, and not enough is known about long term affects on the body. It’s up there with aspartame in dangerous sugar substitutes. A healthy and natural sugar substitute is stevia, which can be found under the brand name Truvia as well as Purevia. It has no calories or carbs, is sweeter than sugar, and is harvested from the stevia rebaudiana plant.

  • abesday

    What’s the difference between Muscle Milk protein powder and Muscle Milk whey protein? I know you recommended whey protein, but I’ve got a bag of regular protein kicking around.

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  • Justin V

    I’m gonna have to give this the good ‘ol college try

  • Caitlin

    check out the 24 range at SpyFit.co.uk, I’m
    a distributor now and people are buying left right and centre as its the number one in the world

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