Gabrielle Reece Serving Up HIGHX Training –

Article By Lucia Viti
Photographs By Jennifer Cawley

Serving Up HIGHX Training

“HIGHX is a journey that creatively accommodates every fitness level to promote strength, speed, endurance, flexibility, coordination, balance and precision. The team component is magical. Groups working together add accountability, increase motivation, and maximize students to go beyond what they can do alone.”

Gabrielle, “Gabby” Reece is a living legend. The collegiate beach volleyball phenomenon turned pro is a fashion model, actress, sports announcer, writer, celebrity host and fitness trainer.

Infamous for taking risks, the former host of MTV Sports, The Extremists with Gabrielle Reece, Insider Training, Gravity Games and the 1998 Goodwill Games, also touts a line of fitness products and DVDs: Bell Express 15 workout kits; Gabrielle Reece Fit & Healthy Prenatal Workouts; and Gabrielle Reece: The Complete Fit & Healthy Pregnancy Workout.

The icon was the first female athlete to design a woman’s athletic shoe—the Nike Air GR II—that outsold the Air Jordan. And let’s not bypass her reality TV spots on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, America’s Next Top Model, The Biggest Loser, and STRONG.

Since bowing out of the pro circuit spotlight in 2010, the statuesque, 6-foot-3 wife—married to big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton—and mother of two remains an advocate for health and wellness.

HIGHX: The Program
The maven has now launched HIGHX, an explosive, high-intensity, team-oriented circuit training program. Accompanied by every fitness toy imaginable—and then some—teams, designed by class size, course through stations executing two exercises in six mini sets of 30 seconds. A team leader relays their cohorts station to station as a master coach conducts the entire class. Nontraditional, dissimilar movements sequence from high intensity to active recovery. Once completed, stations are not repeated.

“HIGHX considers the science behind what your body can and cannot do,” says Reece. “Cardio, strength and resistance training is balanced with active recovery.”

How it Began
The “idea by accident” grew organically as a simple response to facilitate working out with friends after the local gym closed on her residential island of Kauai. Reece’s “community service classroom” became her HIGHX testing ground and quickly garnered up to 100 students. Men and women range between 17 to 65 years of age and include the hyper-fit as well as the deconditioned. Writing a curriculum that builds upon itself week after week (to date the ace has written more than 1,200 workouts), Reece scales the workouts to include everyone. Dedicated to staying connected to HIGHX on a grassroots level, her island class costs a single George Washington.

Functional Fitness for Every Body
“HIGHX is a safe, solid and sophisticated inclusive training program,” she clarifies. As a competitive athlete, I was exposed to the best trainers in the world. HIGHX is my way of sharing that experience. I took the lead and designed a functional fitness program for the locals. Carve HIGHX into a hundred slices and it still offers a solid workout that invites everyone to participate.”

Sidestepping the need for equipment in large numbers, stations serve no more than a four-member team. Both genders of all ages and fitness levels mesh by choice or by Reece’s direction. Reece explains, “The team within itself reflects the individual as teams work together in one room. The exchange of energy is super positive.”

Working It
Reece spoke enthusiastically about watching 50-somethings discover their inner athletes as 60-somethings perform at impressive levels and 20-somethings realize, “cool, that’s what the new 50/60 looks like.” Reece also notes the importance of working students at their threshold while instigating a fine line of increasing intensity. Diversity and safety must override the challenge of, “How do I stress my body for change and progression; not, I busted it for five years in one modality but I hurt my back, knee or hip,” she emphasizes. “How do we stay true to safety and train forever?”

This coach maintains a no-nonsense, no excuses approach to HIGHX. Dedication is paramount while fanaticism is unwelcome. “Health requires balance,” she points out. “I encourage commitment to a lifestyle, not a cult. I’m not interested in I love you. I’m interested in let’s get together, let’s bust butts in a safe, smart and real way; let’s stay positive and have a good day.” Reece encourages diversity in training. “Fitness is a puzzle, a constant rotation, an ever-changing element that travels. It’s high-intensity training, it’s stretching, it’s hiking. Exercise is not just about looking good; it’s about functioning better.”

On a Personal Note
Ask the elegant beauty how she manages stardom, marriage to a world-renowned athlete, motherhood and a fitness empire and she will define humility. “Juggling is a discipline, not an emotion,” she concludes. “It’s what I do while I never lose sight of how fortunate I am. Everything is a gift.”

HIGHX Certification
The nationwide release of HIGHX training programs occurs as a progressive, four-level belt system. Instructors are required to teach two to three months before advancing to the next level or hold a personal training certification or a four-year degree. Reece’s equipment partner Lifeline, a division of Pivotal 5, offers instructors and fitness facilities equipment packages. For more information on becoming a HIGHX Trainer contact

Meet our experts

AFM-Author-Viti Lucia Viti, is an AFAA certified, 34-year fitness veteran and freelance journalist. Ms. Viti presently teaches at the Bay Club Carmel Valley located in San Diego.



The HIGHX Story

Gabby Reece creator of HIGHX powered by LifeLine, is proud to unveil the latest workout to hit the fitness world. HIGHX is a high intensity explosive training and conditioning program designed to maximize the body’s ability to burn fat, build muscle, optimize the body’s hormone and physiological response to exercise while improving overall daily and athletic performance. HIGHX is a functional, systematic training format structured into multiple circuits to engage, coach, and retain participants and members.
highx marquee


HIGHX came in to existence out of sheer necessity. The genesis of HIGHX was initially a way for me to personally exercise with a large group of friends, and for all of us to get in an optimal workout. While it was never part of a master plan, as like many other innovations, the development of HIGHX was a fortunate accident!

FAMILY BEACHSince meeting my husband Laird in 1995, we have divided our time between the mainland and Hawaiian Islands, living half the year in Hawaii (which he calls home) and the other half in L.A. (which I call home).
After many enjoyable years in Maui, in 2008 we decided to move to Laird’s native island of Kauai. Our family was growing, and we felt that Kauai was a better fit for us, in that it has a slower pace, and my husband has strong roots and history there. The people of Kauai are generally unpretentious, friendly, and loving. Many of the locals there feel like part of our extended family. You simply can’t find a healthier and safer place than Kauai to raise your children.

My husband and I have always been very physically active and still workout consistently 6 days a week. For both of us, a commitment to exercise and proper nutrition is very much in our DNA, and we both really enjoy sharing our passion for healthy living with others.

When we first relocated to Kauai from Maui, I was challenged to find a convenient place to workout. Unfortunately, the local gym on the North Shore of the Island had recently closed and there wasn’t another nearby option for the locals.  So I decided to rent out the local community center a few days a week, throw whatever equipment I could fit in the back of my truck, and invited eight or so of my local girlfriends to come and sweat with me. Since I predominantly use small fitness apparatus, such as dumbbells, resistance balls, resistance bands and other small equipment in my own functional workouts, I realized all I really needed was a little space.


Gabby reece volleyball nikeAs a competitive athlete most of my life, I had the good fortune to be exposed to some of the best trainers in the world, both during my college years, as well as during my professional beach volleyball career. So I decided to share my experience, take the lead, and put together a fitness program for the locals. I basically invited them to ‘train’ with me, as I would call it. Participants learned quickly that my workouts were designed for function; incorporating lots of upper and lower body exercises, plus core strengthening movements. I believe people need to continuously strengthen their entire body if they want to thrive throughout the journey of life.


Since I have always been on athletic teams and really enjoy training with other people, I began coordinating routine workouts every week.  My friends continued to show up, and it became a regular thing. They seemed to really enjoy the workouts, and as tough as they were, the word began to spread around town.

Pretty soon our small group of eight became fifty, and we were no longer welcome at the community center. Fortunately, I was able to move our workouts to a large warehouse nearby, and we quickly started to hit numbers of up to 80 to 100 people some days. How was I going to manage all these humans?  We had men and women from ages 17-65, the hyper fit and deconditioned. That’s when my testing and experimentation which eventually resulted in HIGHX really began.

group workoutTEAM TRAINING
I started to realize if I was going to effectively provide a solid workout for this community, my workouts needed structure. I decided to put people in teams that were made up of individuals who shared commonality. Meaning, I wouldn’t just say go to a station and fill in empty spaces, but I encouraged participants to team up with a friend or a ‘teammate’ (as we call it). Or if they saw someone they felt they could help, to bring them on their team. Or if they saw someone that inspired them, then go join that team. In the beginning, I would set up the teams, but after a while bonds would form naturally. It’s these relationships that eventually develop between class participants that makes attending a HIGHX class feel so special, and keeps people coming back.


highx groupsOn some days, there would be teams of up to 6 people per station of all different sizes, shapes, fitness levels, and work ethics; all working towards the same goal – getting in a demanding workout and enjoy it at the same time. Usually, there would be 14 stations, but on other days up to 18 stations in order to accommodate everyone, plus really get in a great workout. While HIGHX can certainly be done alone (and many people do), one of the most magical things about HIGHX is the team component. There is something about working together in a group, it creates added accountability, increased motivation, and participants really seem to maximize and go beyond what they can do alone. I have seen many people really looking forward to coming to class and gathering with their team.

I have tried coordinating workouts every which way.  Three times around, Tabata timing, you name it. I mean after all, I was doing this for my community and for free, so therefore no one could complain about being part of my experiment. I have always told my class, “this is not a democracy, it is in fact a dictatorship”.  My class trained hard, and pushed me to make it better.  I wrote a new workout every single class, because I wanted to make sure every workout felt fresh and was a new challenge.

My goal was to run everyone through a journey that when they completed the voyage they would have worked their entire body. Therefore, I decided to make HIGHX a combination of resistance training, blended with cardio, proprioception and balance, plus incorporate a bit of stretching.  A few tweaks here and there, such as alternating high intensity movements with lower intensity recovery exercises, and the structure was solidified, and HIGHX was born.

[A high intensity explosive functional training workout which consists of 8 to 16 stations (depending on class size), with 2 exercises per station performed  in 6 mini sets of 30 seconds each. Once you complete a station you are done with it for good, no more going through it again.  Each completed station is a “Mini success” – providing participants a mental edge. Add in the team and coach components and you have HIGHX.]


As I looked to optimize HIGHX workouts, I began further researching the benefits of high intensity training. The research on the benefits of high intensity exercise, and the favorable impact on peak performance, longevity, and anti-aging is undeniable. I could see the benefits first hand in myself and my class participants. I have become absolutely certain that HIGHX is the way of the future, and the way for people of all ages to maximize their fitness level and enjoy the highest quality of life.


After many years now of watching the many personal transformations I have seen firsthand, I came to the realization that HIGHX is something that could benefit people in a “big way”. Not just the community of Kauai, but could change people’s lives everywhere.  My desire to inspire other group fitness instructors and trainers to bring HIGHX to people worldwide really motivated me to figure out how to do it on a Global scale. Luckily, I found highly experienced partners with global reach in the Lifeline team, and seven years later we are off to the races. With my new team, we plan to take HIGHX worldwide and change the lives of many. People ask me all the time since I have stopped playing as a professional athlete, “What are you training for?” What am I training for, I am training for Life, isn’t that the most important reason in the end?
highx pivotal5 team

2015-03-12 11.01.09MY PASSION AND COMMITMENT

I love HIGHX and I believe it is a highly effective fitness solution for anyone looking to train hard, smart, and have a little bit of fun doing it. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see HIGHX spread from our sweaty warehouse on the North Shore of Kauai, to a global brand transforming lives of people everywhere.

This journey has really been a gift to me, and I believe I am the one who has gotten the most out of this process.  My students always thank me, but they don’t realize how good it feels to be around a group of people gathering together, working hard, doing something positive for themselves, and each other.  I know HIGHX will help many people get more from life, just as much as it has benefited mine.

“Train for Life”

By, Gabby Reece


To Get Certified or Find a Gym Visit: HIGHXTRAINING.COM



2015-03-12 12.01.542015-03-12 09.52.04

2015-03-12 10.48.022015-03-12 13.17.03

highx - laird and gabbyhighx gabby jenn john

2013-10-18 10.36.47photo







Gabby gives a great description of her amazing new workout HIGHX

Fitness expert and volleyball champion Gabrielle Reece discusses the benefits of the new training program called HighX. “Gabby visited 24Hr Fitness’s in Sacramento and San Francisco this past weekend to train their trainers. HIGHX workouts will start in all 24Hr Fitness’s beginning July 1. Call your local 24HR Fitness to see when it will start at your gym!”

By Leticia Ordaz – KCRA Sacramento