We did a 4-week summer fitness challenge and here’s what happened

Can confirm: Soft sand running is the devil

Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / December 20 2018

So, we did a thing. In the lead up to summer, some of our Beauty Crew team members decided to kickstart those New Year’s resolutions and embark on a four-week summer fitness challenge. Yep – we’re a shining beacon of health over here.

Kitted out with the swanky new Fitbit Charge 3, we rocked up to Bondi beach every Monday morning for an outdoor training session led by Fitbit Ambassador Drew Harrisberg. Fitbit Nutritionist Tracy Morris was also on hand to answer any of our food-related queries, to help us get on the right track with our healthy eating.

As you can probably guess, there was actually a *heap* of benefits to waking up early and getting the ol’ heart rate going with a solid one hour workout. Not only did it set us up for the day, but it was just what we needed to jumpstart our summer fitness routine.  

So, what did our fitness sessions involve? Check out how our week played out and some of the lessons we learned below:

Carli Alman


“At the beginning of the four-week challenge, we were asked about our goals, and truthfully I basically lied to Drew. While I said my goal was to manage stress and anxiety (partly true), my real goal was to try and get better at running. I didn’t say that because I thought it would be used against me and I’d spend each session running. Well, joke was on me because we spent each hour soft sand running on Bondi Beach and I don’t think I’ve ever pushed myself more than those sunrise sessions. Did I enjoy doing it? Not at the time. But I found that over the weeks I actually got (marginally) better and I’m considering *maybe* making it more of a regular thing in my exercise routine (to give some context, on an average week I’ll do a boxing class, three to four HIIT circuit sessions, and morning walks before work on most mornings). As for the Fitbit Charge 3 and the role it played in this whole experience, I enjoyed putting it through its paces. I’m no stranger to a Fitbit: my first foray was when I challenged myself to do 10,000 steps a day, and then I switched to the Versa smart watch. The Charge 3 is as easy to use as the Versa (though not as colourful) and has all the same bells and whistles as the watch (I got really into using the exercise modes to track my heart rate and progress during my workouts), but just in a fitness tracker. While I prefer the Versa overall, I did like that the Charge 3 had a good few more days before I had to charge it.” 

Erin Docherty


“Fun fact: We did *so* much soft sand running. Like, SO freakin’ much. Bondi Beach is long. And soft sand sucks. But truthfully, I’m a total freak and I kind of loved it. While I set out on the challenge hoping to become more of a morning workout person, I actually ended up realising just how much I missed running. I used to do a lot of soft sand running in the past (I did beach comps for lifesaving), however my workout routine now usually consists of weight training or HIIT classes. So, it was kind of nice to get back on the horse and remember how good it feels to run! At the time I was dying, of course, but after each session those post-workout endorphins were REAL. Instead of feeling tired and sluggish (like most mornings), I found myself feeling switched on and ready to take on the day. The Fitbit was an awesome way to monitor how hard I was pushing my body throughout the training session. It was super easy to use and I actually found myself trying to beat the number of steps I hit after each workout because a) I’m way too competitive, and b) your Fitbit literally goes into celebration mode when you reach a personal best. And that’s just a good time.”

Isobel Larkin

Beauty Assistant 

“I absolutely loved training with Drew Harrisberg and got a lot out of our sessions with him. We did a lot of soft sand running, which I hadn’t done before. If you haven’t tried it before, let me tell you – it is HARD! My legs were always quite sore following the sessions but secretly I love it when I’m sore after a workout as it tells you that it’s working. We also used the outdoor gym at Bondi to do some body-weight work using the parallel bars and chin-up bars. While working out, we used the exercise tracking feature on the Fitbit Charge 3, which is really handy. It allows you to keep an eye on your heart rate so that you know when you’re in the fat burning zone, and you can see how many calories you’ve burned. The Fitbit Charge 3’s sleep tracking technology was one of my favourite features of the device, too. It has made me conscious that I really don’t sleep enough (I’m averaging around six hours a night most weeks at present!). I’ve always thought I was a good sleeper however what I have never taken into account is that you don’t fall asleep the moment your head hits the pillow. It’s interesting to see how much time you spend awake, and in the different stages of sleep. I often get up early to do a 6am gym session before work, but I’m not good at getting myself into bed early enough to ensure that I get the recommended seven to eight hours sleep. Using the Fitbit Charge 3 keeps me accountable and I can look back over my last night’s sleep and see whether or not I’ve had sufficient sleep. It also has a bedtime reminder, which is really handy for people like me who are naturally night owls and forget about the time.”

As we all know, sticking to fitness goals can be *hard*, especially coming up to that time of the year when eating and drinking is life. Our advice? Remember that something is better than nothing! Keep your body moving, even if it means just going out for a walk. Doing it first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day, and it’s a big positive you can build on.

If you’re looking for more tips on how to stay motivated throughout the holiday season, these seven gadgets will have you feeling inspired to workout

What are your summer fitness goals? Let us know in the comment section below.

Main image credit: @taylorhill

Erin Docherty is a Beauty Writer for BEAUTYcrew, Beauty Editor for Women's Health magazine and a Grooming Writer for Men's Health magazine. She has a keen interest in cosmeceutical skin care and is currently working on minimising her 9-step skin care routine – because ain’t nobody got time for that. When she’s not writing about the latest beauty news, or applying copious amounts of serum, you can find her spending all her money in Sephora.