The headliner, co-creator of GSP Rushfit, Georges St-Pierre, certainly deserves all the attention he receives. After all, he is the current UFC welterweight champion and considered by many to be the best mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter in the world. “Rush,” as his supporters called him, was born in Quebec and has been named Canadian Athlete of the Year for the past three consecutive years. So superstar St-Pierre is certainly the right person to have his name and face on the GSP RushFit home workout program, but the program designer and St-Pierre’s trainer and partner in this business, Erik Owings is also a fighting and fitness force in its own right.
Owings was born in Kentucky in 1979 and started training karate at a young age. At age 19, Owings began studying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with trainer Carlson Gracie Jr. After nearly two years of study, Owings went to the source and moved to Brazil to study at the famous Gracie Barra Academy where he obtained the rank of brown belt in Jiu Jitsu. Owings also spent time training in Thailand and Europe. In 2006, he obtained his black belt from Renzo Gracie and John Danaher and continues to train with them to this day.
He fought in five International Fight League (IFL) bouts. The IFL is a now defunct league, which operated from early 2006 to mid-2008. The debt record was 3 wins and 2 losses. He won his first purchase against American fighter Justin Jones in April 2006, then lost to Canadian Chris Haradecki; defeated American Ed West and Russian Peter Kaljevic before losing in mid-2007 to Brazilian Wagnney Fabiano.
While attending IFL, Owings also worked as a personal trainer in New York City where he often worked in cramped spaces, he perfected many techniques, using the bodyweight and dumbbells he used to develop the program. RushFit. Some of the unique moves in the Rushfit program are entirely their own creation. Owens said he liked to come up with difficult moves that even St-Pierre struggles to do.
“Functional Fitness” is a term Owings uses to describe the type of workout he teaches and what RushFit is all about. Owings explained that this meant transferable physical form into actual activity, as opposed to just working on a particular muscle group or body part.
The GSP RushFit program began when the manager of St-Pierre approached Owings and told him that he was looking for someone to design a fitness program for St-Pierre. Owings who had previously worked on what was to become RushFit said he just took what he had already developed and put more intensity into it. For anyone unfamiliar with RushFit, this is an extremely intense home workout routine that leaves even the legendary fit St-Pierre breathless in apparent exhaustion after many segments.
Today, Owings lives in New York City and is the founder and owner of an MMA and fitness center near Union Square. The gymnasium is called Mushin Mixed Marshall Arts. Mushin is a Zen term meaning “empty mind”. It refers to his ability to hyperfocus his thoughts and energies on the task at hand. According to Mushin’s website, Owings’ training “the clientele includes professional and amateur fighters, corporate CEOs and models as well as everyone in between.” The gym has become somewhat known for being the gym of choice for Victoria Secret models. Either way, it seems oddly appropriate for the gym founded by this philosophical fitness guru.