Are you ready to train like a champion?
If you answered yes, then let me welcome you aboard to my review of one of the best home workout DVD programs out there, Rushfit starring UFC Champion Georges St. Pierre and his personal trainer Erik Owings!
Source: Intro/Explosive Powertraining DVD
And if you answered no.. that’s all good too! At the very least you probably arrived here looking for some info, and I hope my honest opinions in the form of a wall of text can be of some use to you.
So who is this Georges St. Pierres and why is he so gosh darn important?
Georges, or GSP as he is often called, is a retired World Champion mixed martial artist known primarily for his reign in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). He has won countless victories over other big names such as Matt Hughes, BJ Penn, Michael Bisping, Nick Diaz, and many others. And not too long ago, GSP won another championship victory in a second weight class – making him one of a select few individuals to become champion in mulitple weight classes.
The accomplishments of Georges however great, are not to overshadow his exceptional work ethic though. He’s spent countless hours traveling the land on his quest to become the greatest fighter in the world, training with or fighting against all kinds of martial arts practitioners. Despite only training is Karate for most of his younger days, Georges has gone on to study even further with Boxing, Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and God knows what else. And it goes to say all that hard work paid off too! GSP is ranked among many as the greatest professional fighter/mixed martial artist of all time, having held one of the longest and most successful championship runs of any fighter, ever.
Alrighty, but why the workout program?
I’m sure it’s pretty straightforward from a business perspective, right? We all want to make some money at the end of the day and Georges’ name carries weight in gold sure, but I’m pretty sure money isn’t too much of an issue for GSP. Home workouts have been a pretty interesting market over the years though, with many other celebrities and fighters creating their own. Maybe it’s trendy? It really could be that he just wants to help us off the couch and in good shape – oh wait yeah it is. He talks about it in more detail in The Workout Guide that we’ll be covering later.
But I guess in the end it doesn’t matter all that much as long as we have a good product, yeah?
Well is it good, then?
Yeah, the GSP Rushfit program is actually very good. If the bottom line here was all you needed, then I have done my job!
..But if you wanted a wee bit more info, feel free to immerse yourself in this glorious novel I have written, Mwahaha!
The whole package for me included a 6 DVD set, a workout guide, nutrition guide, and a training calendar. It really is a fairly comprehensive little package that takes strides to make sure you’ll be covered on all bases. Some programs that I’ve tried arrived as nothing but a couple music CDs, or just a list of exercises to do and no pictures! So I was pretty happy to see how much effort actually went into this.
Hey wait a second! What about the equipment!?
Hah! That’s one of the plus points in my opinion with the Rushfit program. Though it doesn’t supply the equipment, all you need is a set of dumbells for some of the exercises.
Next I’ll do a brief breakdown of each section:
Time to get our sweat on!
Strength and Endurance (5 Rounds + Warm Up and Cool Down)
The first one we’ll go over is actually my personal favourite. I like the way it’s balanced between doing the first 2 rounds of body weight exercises and plyometrics, and the next 3 focusing on using the dumbells. You’ll be doing various gym favourites like push ups, squats, planking, dumbell rows, presses, curls, etc. They’re taught in a very step-by-step way that is easy to follow even if you’re brand new to this stuff. Erik also teaches many alternate forms to exercises that you should make use of if you’re struggling.
The Strength/Endurance workout is preceded by a 10 minute warmup and followed by cool down that runs 6-7 minutes. Both of those plus the 5 round workout puts you at just over 40 minutes (which is a good amount of time to shoot for).
Abdominal Strength and Core Conditioning (5 Rounds + Warm Up and Cool Down)
This workout starts again with the same warmup and finishes with the same cooldown sequences, and that is the formula for most of them with the meat and potatoes being the big workout at its “core” lol. Its a series of exercises designed to (as you may have guessed) make you squirm in agony as you realize your core is desperate need of work. Maybe that was just my experience with it. No really though, this one is a real gut buster with dumbell situps, air biking, body bridges, dumbell side presses, and much more.
What I like hear is that Erik and Georges really go out of their way to explain what the core area is and why it’s important during the program. Many hours are wasted at gyms everyday by people in pursuit of that perfect set of abs. Doing sit ups until you vomit isn’t the answer, trust me. In this segment you’ll be doing a combo of body weight and dumbells again, and with it some tricky new movements. It’s fun for sure, but burns like a bugger until you get stronger. Practice makes perfect!
Fight Conditioning Workout (5 Rounds + Warm Up and Cool Down)
Did you think that all home workouts were like those old Billy Blanks Tae Bo videos, with all that punching and kicking the oxygen right out of your living room? Regardless, you’re getting the GSP brand taste of that here during the Fight Conditioning workout. Get ready to throw punches, kicks, knees, elbows, backs (just kidding!), and much more as always. It takes a bit more space for this one and will certainly have you moving around a bunch, both on your feet and on the ground. And no weights this time! Time to get that cardio in, folks.
To be honest it reminds me a lot of what we did during boxing and jiu jutsu training, but with less strictness on form. It’s not about throwing perfect hooks here but getting the motions in safely and keeping the blood pumping. And seriously, if you’re reading this prior to starting this program, here’s some free advice: Start slow and don’t bother trying to keep up with them. Erik and GSP say it now and then to work at your own pace, but we often hear that and shrug it off right away. GSP and his crew are toned and chiseled like greek statues, so if you can’t match their pace, that’s because it’s normal to be human. Play safe!
Source: Rushfit Cool Down/Abdominal Strength and Core Conditioning DVD
Explosive Powertraining (5 Rounds + Warm Up and Cool Down)
There is a good reason this one doesn’t even come up until like 6 weeks in.. because it’s quite difficult. If you tackled this in your first week for example, there would be a fair chance you’d call it quits unless you’re a pretty fit individual. Even as someone with plenty of experience, I still consider this workout deadly on a few points: Heavy use of plyometrics and tricky weighted exercises, it’s an easy way to get injured but if you can maintain good form and exercise safely, the gains are there to be made. Look forward to a mix of dumbell weight and body weight exercises such as dumbell jump squats, shuffles, burpees, long jumps, power cleans/presses, and some other ball busters.
Side note: This workout is not very apartment friendly, or if you just have people living below you in general. The sheer amount of jumping is gonna be enough to get a knock from the neighbours. In my experience I try to cut out the jumping if it’s getting late at home and I’m likely to upset people below me. It’s definitely not a point against the Rushfit program overall – plyo is amazing for you no doubt. Sometimes we’re just students or single parents living in apartments and whatnot. So that is just a head’s up from me. Also the jumping can be hard if you have bad joints, so proceed with caution.
Full Body Strength and Conditioning (5 Rounds + Warm Up and Cool Down
Not to be confused with the already mentioned “Strength and Endurance”, this one is different altogether. It starts with one full round of body weight training to get you pumped up for what is pretty much 4 full rounds of dumbell circuits after that. You’re gonna bounce between the floor and standing with squat thrusts, Y presses, lunges, rowing, getups, and then some. All the while holding dumbells, so now’s your chance to get those callouses you’ve always wanted!
It’s another challenging series of exercises but a very good one no less. You’re gonna hit the full body with this one exactly as advertised, so no more skipping leg days. Erik spares no breath in an effort to coach through every routine as well so you pretty much learn something new every time you do it. And you can look forward to GSP teaching us how straws work, so there’s that.
Stretching for Flexibility (1 Circuit – 26 minutes + Warm Up)
Ah yes, where would we be without a Yoga number? These home workouts sure have progressed quite a bit since I was a kid, that’s for sure. But in all seriousness it’s a very important part of the overall system. So after the usual warm up, you’ll be into a near half hour session of stretching and twisting and the like. There’s quite a few good exercises in there, and a few of them I’ve never done but you always feel good at the end. And it includes what I’m pretty sure is its own version of the cool down, which is “cool” if you ask me 😉
Source: Stretching for Flexibility/Bonus Workouts DVD
Balance and Agility (1 Circuit – 24 minutes + Warm Up and Cool Down)
All body weight, all day baby! Yep that means no weights required, just like the stretching workout. This one however is a bit faster and more demanding. Airplane stretches, pop up variations, gorilla squats, line hops, mule kicks, and pull ups from the ground? ..just to give you a sample anyways. Despite several of the motions being a little unorthadox, Erik goes to great lengths again to make sure we know what we’re doing. But not just in form, he proves effective as always keeping the energy and morale up through the program.
You Are What You Eat
Not gonna start calling people chicken or anything, if that’s what you’re thinking. But chicken is chock full of lean protein, low in fat, and it’s good in almost anything. But back to the point.
A Nutrition Guide, wha-? Really?
Seriously, and they deserve bonus points for including this too! There’s an old saying that goes, ahem..
“You can’t outrun a bad diet”
If you know what I’m talking about, feel free to skip ahead. The idea is that so much work is done in the kitchen when it comes to getting in shape and being in all around good health. It’s a very underappreciated bit of knowledge, just ask the guy at the gym that goes everyday but never seems to get anywhere. Not getting any bigger or stronger? Not losing weight after all that running? Still no six pack after a thousand sit ups? I’ve been that guy before, and I’m gonna say right now that it’s every bit as important as they say – so read the nutrition guide!
Anyways, it goes into all kinds of crazy detail for our benefit of course. Right down to the most basic “don’t drink pop and coffee” to things like calculating your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and what percent of food types you should eat and when. It really is a handy little booklet (coming in at over 20 pages!) that will be good even after you’ve moved on from this program.
Preparation is Key
Don’t think that they’ve supplied you with all these tools but no sense of direction. The package comes with a quick start guide to give you the first few steps on your path to greatness, and give a simple overview of how it works.
Along with that is another fun little booklet, a workout guide which you should also read. It details some of Georges’ finer motivational pieces, background on himself and Mr. Owings, a physical assessment worksheet, a heart rate training chart, as well as many physical and mental pointers for all us aspiring athletes. It really is a wealth of valuable information that I definitely feel bad for not reading enough of in my previous Rushfit campaigns. GSP and his crew put a lot of work into this whole package and stuff like this is what people pay personal trainers waaaaay more than they should for.
Lastly but not least is the Training Calendar. There is actually 3 of them, one for each difficulty: Beginner, Internediate, and Advanced. Each calendar covers 8 weeks worth of workouts, mapping what workout to tackle on which day as well as rest days. In the more difficult programs, you’ll be doing things like doubling up workouts on some days as well as dropping down to one rest day. It’s all pretty straightforward and leaves little room for error, thankfully for me.
Source: Rushfit Foundation Moves/Strength and Conditioning DVD
Another point worth mentioning: At the end of each workout, after the cooldown, is a segment where Erik and Georges teach the “Rushfit Foundations”. It is a low pace instructional bit where they go through all the important exercises is great detail. Erik explains, GSP demonstrates, and we learn some valuable stuff.
I don’t really remember what it used to sell for but I checked and it can be found on Ebay for under $50 (what a steal!), I’ve seen people pay several hundred dollars for programs like this (and of lower quality, too!) and still be content with their purchase. What is my professional opinion? Tons of value here, no question. I am happy to report that GSP and company did not screw up this project, and least of all did they leave us starved for product. With 6 killer DVDs, a few guides, and very very low equipment requirements, you’re gonna be getting your money’s worth one way or another. Even the fitness gurus could stand to learn a thing or two from this.
How we gonna score this thing, anyway?
+ Georges and Erik explain in full detail how each exercise is done
+ Great for beginners and workout veterans alike
+ Loaded with extra content like the nutrition and workout guides
+ Full body workout programs making sure you’re not missing essential muscle groups
+ Loads of bang for your buck – costs less than a month membership at most gyms
– Georges interrupting with chit chat as Erik tries to lead the workout (more amusing than anything really)
I want to come right out and say that seeing that this is my first big review for the site, I’m glad I was able to do it on the Rushfit program. As not only a fellow Canadian, but former student of martial arts, and a big fan of Georges I thought of this as a bit of an honour I guess. I know that alone makes this review seem a bit biased but I left it in the final edit anyway ’cause I’m pretty honest like that.
Or maybe I’m just really hoping GSP reads this someday and is all like “Oh man, this was a really good review! Now I have to meet this guy and teach him some crazy mma shit”
Hah! That would be the day. Anyways thanks for reading, I am honoured to even have readers =)
Cheers and God Bless,