Breezy Mama Works Out with Gabby Reece-Really We Did

IMG_7479After spending a morning with Gabby Reece, it’s hard not to be motivated. The volleyball star, founder of, mother of two and frequent cover girl is, well, hard core and gave Breezy Mama so many tips that Alex and I came home full of inspiration to kick off 2010. And pain, if we’re being honest. After doing her circuit workout we could barely walk for a week, but gladly suffered through to bring the Cliff Notes of the exercises home to you! Plus, what she eats before, her favorite work-out clothes, the playlist we pumped iron to (5 pound weights count as iron, right?), her work-out advice and more. Read on for our interview with her and then be sure to check out the workout you can do from home because as Gabby said, “It’s important to change up your work-out to keep you motivated.” Hello, New Year! We’re so ready for you!

An Interview with Gabby

IMG_7416To say Alex and I were intimidated might be the understatement of the year! We try to get our exercise in like everyone else, but this is GABBY REECE! We felt so honored to be welcomed into the circuit workout she leads with a group of great women (many of whom had to stop what they were doing to help us – and by “us,” I mean me — and were so gracious about it). Gabby runs a tight ship and forewarned us if she yells at us, she’s not being mean. Um, I got yelled at a lot. In a good way. Ahem. Perhaps our favorite part, however, was our straight up “girl” talk we had with her afterward.

Chelsea: Do you have any advice for kicking off the New Year?

leg2Gabby: If you are already  [getting your exercise] and you are bored, and you aren’t making any changes, you get into a flat spot with it all. I think it’s really important to join a class or do something different to get re-inspired and crank it up.

In order to make a change, you have to make bigger changes to get to that point to change. That means, training a little harder, being a little more diligent about your food at night.

Let’s say I think I could be 2 pounds lighter, then I say I’m going to have a small dinner of the right food – a lean protein with vegetables and brown rice. Just force the change.

If people haven’t gotten started and they feel overwhelmed, it’s a natural thing. I always compare it to a big project – like your closet – and you think, ‘ugh.’ I think some people can feel like that – like they are so far behind – so out of shape or whatever – but everything is really baby steps.

If it’s joining a gym, or joining classes or getting together with friends…it’s just day-to-day. I think if people focus on the fact that they need to lose 30 pounds, it’s not going to work. You have to think ‘this week I’m going to go to the gym four days.’ I think if you make small goals it will help you accomplish the larger.

IMG_7470Alex: One thing that I’ve realized is that I always put my family in front of me and one thing you had said to us earlier was that you have to make a date on your calendar. My husband is not a morning person, but I always say to myself I just have to go. I need to remember I have to take care of myself, too.

Gabby: And you can’t be apologetic. The other day I had to work and my kids were in my bed and I said to my husband that it feels [wrong to leave]. But at the end of the day what are you going to do – not work? You know, they always say guilt is a wasted emotion. What is productive about guilt?

Alex: That is so true and something I’m trying to work on.

Gabby: I think parenting in general – parenting for women — is loaded with guilt… ‘I was too snappy’… then you feel guilty for telling them to pick their stuff up… then you feel guilty you weren’t there… then you feeling guilty that you aren’t doing the right thing… It’s never ending. I think you just have to understand that that’s the way it is, and try and navigate the best you can. Besides being there and loving your children and making them feel safe, I think being a great example of someone who is taking care of themselves and is happy and healthy is a valid lesson.

Alex: Yeah, it is.

Gabby: It’s like [my husband] Laird [Hamilton] always says, ‘They’re not listening to you – they’re watching you.’ If you’re telling them not to play video games all day, but you’re sitting on the computer all day – they see it.

IMG_7463Chelsea: I love that in the last interview we did, you recommended working out in the morning and stick to it, so that you actually get it done. I have had mornings where I can’t motivate and I think to myself: But Gabby said! [Laughs].

Gabby: I think the whole idea of me getting involved on-line with my own site,, is that at the end of the day you have support, it just makes it that much easier. If you can use each other’s resources and support – especially women because husbands play a role, but it’s a very specific role. And it’s not an end role. I have a 27 year old who works for me and she was talking about her husband and she’s very close to her father and I said that they read you Cinderella as a kid and then you have to realize that the man doesn’t save you, you save the man. That isn’t a derogatory thing against men; it’s just the way it is. So, I told her you have to get rid of that [Cinderella] expectation.

Women on the other hand will say, ‘Okay – this Dr. is really good.’ Or, ‘I’ll take your son while you go to the hospital so you know he’s safe and you can focus on feeling better.’ I think you have to focus on that. I think that’s how we save each other. Not that the husband doesn’t do that, but that’s a different role.

Chelsea: It’s funny you say that because that’s why we started Breezy Mama just for moms. Our husbands are very involved, but even if they take the kid to the birthday party, generally we moms are the ones who RSVP’d, went out and bought the gift and wrote down the directions.

Gabby: Then they take them for an hour and you have to hear about it for three days [all three laugh]. It’s just a different mentality. Their brains don’t work that way. They’re just built totally different. If you have a good guy who’s there for you even when times are down and he’s loyal, that’s what you can ask for. He’s not your girlfriend.

IMG_7453Chelsea: Yeah – I don’t want to watch The Hills with him [all three laugh].

Gabby: No, seriously. It’s not about what’s fair, it’s about what is. That’s my motto.

Alex: Where do you come up with the exercises [in your circuit work-out]? Is it just years of training?

Gabby: Yes. And there’s a level of exploration after a while. If I take a dance bar class then I incorporate things that are good. Or I talk to my husband a lot and he’s always very innovative. And some of his stuff is too hard. I tell people you can be really creative with your training, you just have to put a little effort into it. You should never do something that’s one thing.

Alex: You do [circuit training] twice a week. Does it change every time?

Gabby: Yes. It’s usually ten exercises. I like to get everyone in and out and on to the rest of their day. Today was an exception because it was the last week [until I return home to Hawaii].

Alex: Do you do this in Hawaii with a group of women?

Gabby: I have a few friends that I do it with — 3 or 4 women. One friend will tell another friend… it becomes ‘I can do that.’ You don’t have to lift 20 pounds, you can lift 5 pounds.

IMG_7458Chelsea: I like that there were options for pregnant women [to moderate the circuit work-out].

Gabby: Once your baby’s umbilical cord is developed, it’s important not to stretch it. You just don’t want to put any stress on the umbilical cord. My thing is, when you’re pregnant, if you feel good, you can exercise.

Alex: So you do this [circuit workout] three times a week…

Gabby: And I ride my street bike two or three times a week. I do a bar class, I run in sand.

Alex: Do you run [on hard surfaces] as well?

Gabby: Only in the sand. I can’t run on a hard surface anymore – it hurts my knees too much. The wet sand is slopey and the dry sand is usually pretty flat.

Chelsea: And it’s more of a workout.

Gabby: Yeah – exactly.

Chelsea: Cause your gnarly [all laugh].

Gabby: I have so many women say to me, ‘But I’m watching what I eat’ and I ask ‘But what kind of exercise are you doing?’ And that’s the thing people don’t realize – you don’t have to do THAT much. Like [the circuit work-out we did today] – you don’t have to do [that much]. But you have to train smart, and you have to train hard. You don’t have to make it torture, you can still make it fun. That’s the key – it should be fun.

Alex: Adding the fun music is a world of a difference.

Gabby: If I turned that music off and we did that [work-out], it would be hell. You’d hear yourself breathing – it wouldn’t be good.

IMG_7474Alex: I was always curious, how much water do you drink during your workouts?

Gabby: I just drink before and after. I think hydration is something you do all the time. I don’t think you become dehydrated in an activity. I think you are dehydrated going into it. Unless you are working out in the sun, then drink more.

Alex: I watched you on MTV Cribs and I loved how you showed your chocolate drawer.

Gabby: Oh yeah. My joke is, never trust a woman who doesn’t like chocolate.

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  1. Great article for the new year! Thanks!!!

  2. Awesome article! How fun that you guys got to work out with Gabby Reece – she is such a rockstar mom!

  3. Chels is too nice–I may have not got yelled at as much (hee-hee), but the woman ahead of me was CONSTANTLY stopping her exercise to help me. It was hard!


  5. Thanks everyone! Gabby really got me inspired — hopefully it lasts longer than January -lol!

  6. Awesome motivation! I’d be so intimidated to work out with Gabby Reese…;)

  7. Loved the article, especially the take on guilt. I ALWAYS feel guilty for this or that with the kids. Now I can remind myself that guilt is just a wasted emotion and then move on to more productive thoughts and activities. You girls are great! I am so happy to see that your website is such a great success! Thanks!


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