The Performance Life
Gabby Reece at the Top of Her Game
Gabby Reece is training for her next big challenge, but these days it doesn’t involve skying for blocks on Manhattan Beach, but winning a game in her own kitchen.
"My four year old is like, 'I want a treat,' " says Reece, a world champion beach volleyball player and mother of three. “It’s a constant battle, but at the end of the day, if you make the bites small enough, I’ve found you can get a lot of healthy food down.” (Reece’s latest winning recipe for the entire family: grilled chicken seasoned with coriander and cumin, mixed with avocado, a pinch of salt, brown rice with Braggs instead of soy sauce, and seasonal veggies.)
In addition to raising three kids and sharing her health and parenting secrets at GoToGabby.com, Reece, who’s married to surfer Laird Hamilton (pictured below), has another website in the pipeline called The HoneyLine.com. Taking on her many daily challenges and keeping it all together is her main purpose for training.
I don’t want to have to lose my health to appreciate it,” says Reece. “I’m weirdly driven that way.” Reece’s relentless drive has led her to train with the same attitude now, at 38, as during her most competitive years as a pro volleyball player.
I'm still locked into that mentality of training at a higher level.” Despite repeated knee injuries, Reece doesn’t shy away from working out, but practices what she calls intelligent training. “I’ve learned that putting my ego away and being an eternal student evolves your training,” says Reece.
To that end, Reece has been training at the new Core Performance Center in Santa Monica, Calif., where she’s picked up some useful strategies. She shares them below, so you can take your own training to a new level.
Jumpstart Your Workout
It's easy to work on your strengths, but getting out of your comfort zone and training your weaknesses will make you stronger, Reece says. “You learn more from making mistakes than you do from doing everything perfect.
If you’re willing to mess up, and even look a little uncoordinated at first, then you’ll build strength, improve mobility, and gain flexibility by replacing your old warm-up with a more dynamic “movement prep” routine.
Movement prep may feel a little unusual when you start, but you'll soon catch on. Besides increasing bloodflow and improving mobility, "it gets you in the mind frame to work,” says Reece, as opposed to conventional stretching and breathing that fails to warm you up mentally. This also hard-wires your nervous system and muscles for a more effective workout.
Become a More Efficient Exerciser
Going to the gym with a plan will streamline your workout, leaving you with more time to enjoy life.
At Core Performance Center, your personalized training plan is housed at the Center so all you need to do is show up. What’s more, 144 square feet of private training space reserved for you supplies all the training equipment you need, including adjustable dumbbells, resistance bands, physioballs, and a state-of-the-art total-body training machine called the CPro. (Read about it in Wired.)
“I love the notion that I’m not walking around,” says Reece. Rather than hunting for errant dumbbells and machines, go into your training session with a plan and purpose and you'll complete more work in less time.
Save Time: Pull together all the equipment needed for your workout at the start of your session. This will improve your overall conditioning and cut down on training time by helping you move faster from one exercise to the next.
Train For Life
“As you go through life and complicate it, you really have to fight for your health,” says Reece. The key: Make your training specific to your life’s demands.
Mastering basic human movements that encompass your day, from improving the way you walk and run to how you pick up things, will help you move through life with less pain and more energy. This approach, practiced at Core Performance Center, is a departure from the body part training that has ruled the commercial gym industry in recent decades. But by making the most basic movements the cornerstone of your training regimen, you’ll look better, play better, and perform great in every aspect of life.
Master the Fundamentals: The squat is the most basic of all human movements. Master the squat with this helpful tutorial.
About The Author
Scott Quill – Scott Quill is the Chief Editor of Athletes' Performance and Core Performance. Before joining Athletes' Performance, he was Fitness Editor of Men's Health magazine.