Smoking Addiction To ‘Operation Shred’: Here's How Shane Warne's Fitness Habits Shaped His Life
Smoking Addiction To ‘Operation Shred’: Here’s How Shane Warne’s Fitness Habits Shaped His Life

Operation Shred unfortunately became the last chapter in Warne’s fitness, which had garnered media attention over the years..

The sudden demise of Australian cricket legend Shane Warne has sent shock waves throughout the sports fraternity. The cause of death is suspected to be cardiac arrest, according to his manager Michael Cohen.


“Shane was found unresponsive in his villa and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived,” Cohen’s statement read. “The family requests privacy at this time and will provide further details in due course.”

Thai Police, according to Reuters, said that Warne and three other friends were staying in a private villa on the island of Koh Samui. One of them went to inquire about him after the former cricketer did not turn up for dinner.

“The friend did CPR on him and called an ambulance,” Chatchawin Nakmusik, an officer with the Bo Put police in Koh Samui, told Reuters by phone.

“An emergency response unit then arrived and did another CPR for 10-20 minutes. Then an ambulance from the Thai International Hospital arrived and took him there. They did CPR for five minutes, and then he died.”

Hours before his death, Warne had posted a story from his holiday home from the Thai island to wish his fans a ‘good night’. A few days earlier, he had also posted about an ‘Operation Shred’ with regards to his weight-loss and fitness. 

View post on Instagram

He wanted to spend his time in Thailand getting shredded as part of a holiday weight cut. 


Warne’s long-time manager James Erskine revealed on Sunday that Warne had taken to drastic measures to trim down, including liquid-only diets.At the time of his death, he’d recently finished an extreme and ‘ridiculous’ cleanse in which he only had fluids for about 14 days, Erskine revealed.’It was a bit all or nothing. It was either white buns with butter and lasagne stuffed in the middle, or he would be having black and green juices,’ he said.

It unfortunately became the last chapter in Warne’s fitness, which had been the subject of widespread media attention over the years. Here’s the lowdown:    

Lost 10kg In 2011

Warne with ex-wife Elizabeth Hurley, 2011 | Credits: PA Archive

Ahead of his final season with the Indian Premier League franchise Rajasthan Royals, Warne put in the hours at the gym to shred 10 kgs, in order to stay abreast with the younger crop of cricketers. He was said to be dating actress Liz Hurley at that point.

His manager James Erskine told The Daily Telegraph: “He has been on a real fitness campaign since about eight weeks before he went to India. When you are 42 and you’re competing against a team of young 20-year-olds, you have to be fit.

“His weight normally fluctuates but he is in unbelievable form at the moment. I was with him a couple of weeks ago and he said he was down to 82kg.”

Battled a Smoking Addiction

Warne smoking during an Ashes match rain-break in August 2005 | Credits: PA Archive

Despite performing for more than two decades on the field as the greatest leg-spinner of all time, Warne smoked throughout his international cricket career. The addiction was so severe that he had reportedly been spotted smoking during a fundraising activity for awareness against cancer. 

The cricketer was once paid $200,000 to quit his rumoured 50-smokes-a-day habit.

At the beginning of 1999 the spin bowler inked a lucrative deal with nicotine substitute company Nicorette.

However Shane was spotted lighting up a cigarette days before the four-month deal ended, at a Barbados bar, according to The Age.

“I had one cigarette in the West Indies and the Nicorette people know about that,” Shane admitted after photos of him smoking were published.

“It was the last night. Unfortunately I gave in to the temptation. It was after the disappointing way that the tour finished. It was late at night when I had had a night out with the lads. I was very disappointed at having it and hopefully I can still try to kick the habit. It’s been a bloody lot harder than I thought.”

Post-Retirement Regime

Warne shares a joke with Hurley and England’s Michael Vaughan in June 2013, just before retiring | Credits: PA Archive

In the years after his complete retirement from cricket in 2014, Warne had admittedly settled into a more consistent fitness routine. He said that he was dedicated to working out at least 3-4 days a week in order to stick to his 80-kilo target weight.

“With the physical side of things, for probably the last 10 years or so I’ve gotten into a morning routine,” he told Men’s Health in an interview. “Whether that’s my push-ups, skipping, boxing, going for a walk or going to the gym and getting on a treadmill. I try to do something at least a few times a week.”  

Mental Wellbeing 

Warne enjoys a game of golf in Scotland, 2021 | Credits: @shanewarne23/Instagram

In the same interview, Warne had also stressed on the importance of mental well-being alongside physical fitness for feeling “fresh and happy.”

“We’re all busy. There’s never enough time in the day. But I’m very structured and very disciplined. I’ve got a whiteboard and I’ve got diaries.” 

“Doing things that I enjoy helps my mental health, like playing golf a couple of days a week and walking a course for four hours. I’ve got a lot on my plate in terms of business things and being a bit of an entrepreneur, and I think the fitter you are and the happier you are, the better decisions you make.”

New Diet

Warne enjoys a plate of steak and chips before the 2017 Ashes commence | Credits: @shanewarne23/Instagram

Warne’s approach towards his meals was ‘all or nothing.’

He’d go from 79 kg to 92 kg and back in the matter of weeks. “Oh, look, when I was playing, I ate so much crap. Because, you know, you were travelling, you’d land somewhere at midnight hungry, and you’d eat. It was hard and you had to be very strict.” 

“I like steak and chips. I like chicken and chips or chicken and salad. I like a bowl of pasta.

Occasionally I might go and have a chicken fajita or something like that. And occasionally I’ll have a burger.”

“As players, we’d go to a Japanese restaurant, and I’d try and get a pizza delivered there. “It’s evolved a little bit. I don’t eat anywhere near as much junk food because I know if I do, I’ll be heavy again. But if I’m quite strict with my diet and I combine that with my fitness routine, I’ll be fine. My size-34 jeans will fit nicely,” he’d said last year.


Warne commentating at Headingly, right after his Covid recovery | Credits: @shanewarne23/Instagram

Last year in August, Warne had contracted COVID-19 after taking both jabs of the vaccine. A month after he had contracted the virus, the late leggie had revealed that his condition had deteriorated to an extent where he had to be put on a ventilator.

“It wasn’t because I could not breathe, or anything like that, it was basically a special ventilator that I was trialling to make sure there were no longer-lasting effects that Covid would have on me,” Warne had told the Herald Sun. 

“I have been fine, I have been able to run, I have been able to do everything. I have been absolutely fine,” he said.

Clot formation due to Covid-19 can be one of the reasons we get heart attacks, according to experts. Smoking makes the blood thicker due to which there are clots and that can cause heart attacks. Besides, genetics remains the most important factor for heart attack. 

Plastic Surgery Rumours 

A closeup portrait Warne shared on Instagram | Credits: @shanewarne23/Instagram

In 2019, the Aussie headline magnet had denied rumours of surgery and injections, revealing he’s dropped 14kg again this year and has kept the weight off. “I’ve dropped 14kg, I’m trying to lose another three or four more to get down to 80kg but I haven’t had any work done to my head.

I haven’t had, whatever they call it, fillers, injections and all that sort of stuff,” he added, ahead of the launch of his sports apparel brand SW 23.

Traditional Medicine 

Shane Warne sports an injury while supporting his local St. Kilda football team | Credits: @shanewarne23/Instagram

In 2019, Warne also revealed that he had been placing faith in traditional medicine for fitness. 

“I’ve been doing traditional Chinese medicine, I’ve been doing training and things like that,” Warne said. 

(Featured Image Credits: PA Archive)

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