Thursday, 6 June 2013

Get into shape for the Ashes with Dennis Lillee

So the Ashes is nearly upon us and it's time to dust off those cobwebs and get ourselves into full fitness for the 10 Tests ahead. What better way to do it than taking in the visual splendour and handy fitness tips of Dennis Lillee's Book of Family Fitness, one of 1980's best literary offerings.

There was something about the cover of this book that told me in no uncertain terms that I needed to own it. I think you'll agree I made the right choice.

Dennis always starts the day with some wholesome muesli and a glass of coffee. Maybe not as healthy as a fresh juice, but certainly more nutritious than a six pack of Tooheys and twenty Marlboro Reds, which was probably how Doug Walters started his day.

With that out of the way, it's time to get the kids up and active. Unless they are watching a replay of DK's over to Viv in the 1976 Gilette Cup semi final, off goes the TV.

Always nice to take the kids on your morning run, just make sure you completely ignore golf course etiquette and run through someone's round. 

If you get a bit thirsty, just stop off in someone's front yard and drink from their garden hose. The sight of Dennis Lillee doing that would be exactly what the neighbours were expecting when they looked out the window.

I kid you not, Dennis lists actual instructions in the book for laying out an obstacle course to make your run more interesting. Pretty simple really, you just need a chainsaw, some chaps and a few mature natives.

Of course once you have your stumps, it's always great to get the kiddies involved in a bit of log-stepping, which they tend to go crazy for.

I admit it is slightly elaborate to construct your own hurdles, but well worth the effort.

Again I am not making this up. Dennis suggests that should it be a bit chilly when you head out for a run, it might pay to pop some socks over your hands to keep them toasty warm.


It's always good to break the tedium of a run up by hanging from a precariously placed log for as long as you can.

Having ditched the kids, Dennis is now on a reconnaissance mission looking for more trees to turn into obstacle courses. He seems to be onto a winner here.

If there's a shirtless old bloke out on a run, it always pays to sidle up next to him and have a chat.

The kids are probably pretty pooped by now, but there is nothing that will kill their enthusiasm for the outdoors like a spot of orienteering, or as DK calls it, "cunning running." Is that even a thing? I'm 95% he's just made that up.

With the kids back home it's time to hit the beach and do a bit of body surfing to impress the babes. Just make sure you're wearing your gold chain with cricket bat pendant.

"Yo Dennis, I'm really happy for you. Imma let you finish, but Bo Derek had one of the best rising up out of the water scenes ever! Ever!"

Back home to jump on the scales and indulge in a bit of self-loathing. In this section Dennis actually suggests that this task can be done in the nude to spice things up a little bit. I'm thankful he kept things civil for the sake of the book.

Of course, it always pays to be careful when it comes to your health. The ACB had just had these devices installed at team practice facilities. The were used to measure your blood alcohol reading; if you blew anything under 0.05 you weren't allowed to train.

This could be a skin-fold test, but it also might just be a photo from Dennis's private collection that was never meant to see the light of day.

If you head to the gym, always make sure you jump on the exercise bike next to the woman who is wearing her bathers. Ignore your trainer and talk to her. What does he know, anyway?

When you're down at the gym sometimes it's also just cool to hang out.

If your new gym friend is ignoring your subtle advances, maybe just amp things up a little with some intense, prolonged staring. Woman dig guys who are a little unbalanced, it's a fact.

Once this approach has worked wonders, always make sure you include your new-found friend in any planking you do.

It's not all about chatting up the ladies though, you need to get your sweat on. Just pretend your fists are flying towards Kim Hughes.

"Here at the Dennis Lille Institute of Fitness, we have a clear uniform policy; either you go bareback or you wear a lab coat."

Admit it, you hadn't previously seen a photo of Dennis Lille shoveling soil into a wheel barrow and now you have. I'm not asking for thanks because I know you appreciate it.

After a day of fitness work with Dennis, you too will be forced to mimic a pistol to your own head.

Should you ever find yourself wide awake in the middle of the night at a hotel, Dennis has a workout plan for you. Chair lunges are always a good start. Again, gold chain mandatory.

I have no real explanation for this photo but it is genuinely tough to know where to look. This is heading into Shane Watson territory now.

Ahh, looking under Kerry Packer's sofa for loose change; oldest trick in the book. Nice one Fot.

Just doing some morning lunges by the bed, what of it?

I'm beginning to think this entire section of the book is actually just documentation of a serious sleep-walking problem.

But now you're all fit, firing and ready to go. With your new-found fitness you can take on the world, or even just form a solid barrier against any potential home invasions.


  1. I LOLd and LOLd

  2. I never comment on anything anywhere. But this was just fucking brilliant so I decided to lose my virginity. Comedy gold.

  3. I concur. Hilarious.

    But Lillee didn't half have some shoulders, did he.

  4. I like that he eats Musli off a plate

  5. Mickey Arthur's "homework" assignment should have been reading this book. I'm sure Watson would have done it gladly.

    Truly glorious, thanks for sharing this!

  6. Bloody hell, I bust a gut laughing!! :D :D

  7. Bloody hell, I bust a gut laughing!! :D :D

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