A chat with Fitbit ambassador Drew Harrisberg on getting ready for summer

Drew Harrisberg Fitbit beach

Spring is here and summer isn’t far behind and if you’re living in Australia, you know the pressure is on to put down the burgers, pick-up the carrot sticks and start heading outside to exercise more often.

You don’t have to, of course, but new tech by the likes of fitness masters, Fitbit and their latest fitness tracker, the Fitbit Versa make it a hell of a lot easier and just more fun.

It’s kind of the daywear version of the elite Fitbit Ionic, but using it the right way to help you on your way can always use a tip or two. So, we spoke to Fitbit ambassador Drew Harrisberg who’s all about fitness, the beach and doing the whole ‘keeping fit’ thing and here’s what he had to say.

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Self-inflicted agony aka stair sprints! Sprinting is one of the best ways to break through fat-loss plateaus. It increases the number and function of mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) which is the site where fuel is burned. It also increases rates of fat metabolism for 24-48 hours after the workout is over. It’s called Excess Post Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) or ‘The Afterburn’. Basically, the anaerobic metabolites that accumulate during HIIT get metabolized aerobically in the hours and days following the workout. So, if you’re trying to improve your body composition i.e reduce body fat and increase muscle mass, you should really incorporate sprints into your training program. Be prepared for a crazy burn in your legs and lungs. Embrace the pain ???? #ouch #sprints #HIIT

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Summer in Sydney is one super pressure time. What can do you to get rid of that ‘blobby’ feeling and kick-start the summer tighten-up? 

We all know how important exercise and nutrition is when trying to change our bodies, but be careful not to overlook the importance of other lifestyle factors. Things like a healthy, active morning routine, getting some sunlight every day, and spending time outdoors should not be underestimated. These are all things that help set you up for an energetic, active, productive day ahead!

Tips to ditch your dad-bod:

Prioritise sleep
Proper sleep will improve the likelihood of you being active and energised. It also allows you to recover from all the daily stressors.

Play sports
Playing sport like golf or Fitbit Cardio tennis is a great way to get some incidental exercise without having to focus on ‘working out’ so to speak. It’s something fun and unstructured, and the game distracts you from the exercise aspect.

Strength training
Strength training is an amazing way to build muscle it helps increase your resting metabolic rate, improve insulin sensitivity, and stimulate testosterone production all of which will increase muscle tone and burn body fat.

The new Fitbit Versa hit the market this year and is like the ‘daywear’ version of the Fitbit Ionic. What’s your favourite thing about the new smartwatch?

I just love how versatile the Fitbit Versa is. It’s awesome aesthetically but also functional so I can wear it everywhere I go.

I wear my Fitbit Versa at the gym, out to dinner with friends, and swimming in the ocean. I also love the fashionable accessories, as I can match a different band for every occasion.

People can get caught-up in counting steps and calories. What’s the best way to factor high counts of these in your daily schedule?

  1. Walk after meals
  2. Make a ‘no lifts or escalator rule’
  3. Park further away
  4. Walk to a further train/bus stop
  5. Play sports

What tips do you have for people without anyone to exercise with?

Turn exercise into a game. Race people when you’re running without them knowing it. Choose someone ahead of you and commit to beating them to an imaginary finish line, don’t knock it until you try it.

Bench burners. When you set off on a run, make a rule to yourself that you have to do 20 push-ups on every bench that you see (or any array of bench exercises for that matter).

Sign up for group training. Programs like Fitbit and local PT-lead bootcamps provide a competitive yet encouraging environment which will push you like never before.

Get a dog! My dog Dennis (@a.daily.dose.of.dennis) is a fantastic workout partner I take him for walks at least 2-3 times a day. At the end of a beach session, my Fitbit tracks approx. 4-5k steps and an average HR of over 100.

How many months does anyone with something excess to shake off need to see a difference?

As a general rule, however long it took you to get into your current shape it will most likely take a similar amount to shake it off. However, do it in a sustainable manner, and make sure you are creating an enjoyable lifestyle that you can maintain.

What key indicators should someone look out for on their Fitbit Versa?

Heart rate. Monitoring your HR is great way to stay in tune with your body. A steady reduction of resting HR over time is a great way to monitor your fitness improvements. Intra-workout HR can help you see what HR zone you’re in as well as your rate of recovery between sets.

Sleep. Sleep quality and quantity will give you some interesting and useful stats overnight. Things like how long you spend in the different stages of the sleep cycle, how many times you wake up, and how long you slept for altogether.

Active minutes. Go for green! Experts say aim for 10k per day, but I say don’t put a cap on it.

Floors. A great indication of how much vertical work you put in. Try to avoid escalators and lifts, they’re just not an option.