Interview: Gabrielle Reece's Fitness Secrets

AP Photo/Tammie Arroyo

Gabrielle Reece, professional volleyball player turned model, admits that her looks have opened doors for her--but that's not what motivates her to stay fit.

"I used to work out because my college coaches said I had to, then it was because I needed to stay competitive as a professional volleyball player, now it's because I want to," says Reece.

Still, any full time job gets old. So we sat down with Reece to find out how she stays motivated and what she does to maintain that killer bikini body.

What motivates you for your workouts?
Progress is a motivator. What I always liked about sports was not winning, but the process. Part of keeping it fresh is to stay a student of training. I constantly look for and integrate new and different equipment, techniques and philosophies. I also work with a few different trainers, which helps keep the energy and intensity up.

Is it good for your body to change things up a lot?
It's not about changing things 180 degrees, just integrating new techniques. Your body gets used to things and kind of goes on cruise control. Then you don't get the results you're looking for, and at the end of the day the ultimate inspiration is results.

What are some of the activities you incorporate?
I like swimming, playing at the sand dunes, and strength and circuit training. I even took a bar class to work on flexibility, which is a weakness of mine. I also do a lot of pool training with weights.

What is a sample pool workout?
I take 40- or 50-pound dumbbells and put them at the bottom of the pool. My exercises include bounding and shoulder presses. At the end of the workout, I go down with the weights and do squat jumps. When you first start you can do like five or six, then you can work your way up to 10 or 11.

I also wear a weighted vest and tread water--go a minute on, a minute off, and repeat.

Speaking of water sports, which core workouts give you such a killer bathing suit body?
First of all--core isn't just your stomach. It extends from under your chin all the way to above your knees, so anything that works that whole area is good. The more muscles you can engage in one exercise the more beneficial it is for your core.

My favorite core exercises are the ones that incorporate balance--where you engage the entire area that you want to work throughout the whole exercise.

Exercises that are one-legged or on your toes are good: I like to do squats where I go up on my toes pushing my knees together, then I squat down. As I squat I lift my heels. You can take dumbbells and do a fly at the bottom or at the front, then wait and push your knees together to stand back up. Here you work your legs and your shoulders but your core has to stabilize you the whole time.

Another good one is doing push ups with a stability ball. If you want to get tricky and cute you can do a push up, three roll-ins, and repeat--this works chest, core and overall strength.

You travel a lot: What is something that you always pack?
I always pack a good perspective. If I keep an easy going attitude and believe everything will go well, it does. The minute I get ramped up, flights get delayed; things get broken.

What about workout clothes?
No, I let it go. If I know I'm not gonna have time for training I don't even bother bringing clothes. You know how big my feet are? 11 1/2. You know how many times I've schlepped sneakers around and been like 'yeah, nice, dream on.'

If I know I have windows, I take them. But there have been times I knew I wouldn't get to work out, and still I have these boats in my bag. The workouts clothes are small but the shoes are huge.

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