RushFit Renaissance Man Erik Owings – Trainer, Fighter, Zen Master?
The headliner, co-creator of GSP Rushfit, Georges St-Pierre, is certainly worth the attention he receives. After all, he is the current UFC welterweight champion and is considered by many to be the best mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter in the world. “Rush,” as his fans called him, was born in Quebec and has been named Canadian Athlete of the Year for the past three years in a row. 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’s designer and St-Pierre’s trainer and partner in this venture, Erik Owings It’s also a great fighting and fitness force in its own right.
Owings was born in Kentucky in 1979 and began training in karate at a very young age. At age 19 Owings began studying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with coach Carlson Gracie Jr. After almost two years of study, Owings went to the source and moved to Brazil to study at the renowned Gracie Barra Academy where he achieved belt rank. Jiu Jitsu brown. Owings also spent some 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. IFL is a now defunct league, operating from early 2006 to mid 2008. Owings’ record was 3 wins and 2 losses. He won his first purchase which was against American wrestler Justin Jones in April 2006 and then lost to Canadian Chris Haradecki; he defeated American Ed West and Russian Peter Kaljevic before losing in mid-2007 to Brazilian Wagnney Fabiano.
While competing in the IFL, Owings also worked as a personal trainer in New York, where he often worked in tight spaces, honing many of the techniques, using the body weight and dumbbells he used to develop the RushFit program. Some of the unique moves in the Rushfit program are completely his own creation. Owens has said that he enjoyed coming up with challenging moves that even St-Pierre has trouble making.
“Functional Fitness” is a term Owings uses to describe the type of training he teaches and what RushFit is all about. Owings has explained that it refers to fitness that can be transferred to real-life activity rather than simply working on a particular muscle group or part of the body.
The GSP RushFit program came about when Owings was approached by the manager of St-Pierre and told that they were looking for someone to design a fitness program for St-Pierre. Owings, who had already been working on what would become RushFit, said he just took what he had already developed and put more intensity into it. Anyone unfamiliar with RushFit, it is an extremely intense home workout program that leaves even the legendary St-Pierre gasping for air in apparent exhaustion after many of the segments.
Today, Owings lives in New York City and is the founder and owner of a fitness and MMA center near Union Square. The gym is called Mushin Mixed Marshall Arts. Mushin is a Zen term that means “empty mind”. It refers to one’s ability to focus one’s thoughts and energies on the task at hand. According to Mushin’s website, Owings’ lineup “the clientele includes professional and amateur wrestlers, corporate CEOs and supermodels, along with everyone in between.” The gym has become somewhat known for being the gym of choice for Victoria’s Secret models. Somehow that seems oddly appropriate for the gym founded by this philosophical fitness guru.