Words by Danni Levy
Photography by Ella Gagiano
Georges St Pierre. Two-division UFC champion, mindful motivator, and accomplished Hollywood actor. Widely regarded as one of the greatest welterweights ever to have entered the Octagon, it’s not hard to see why so many are signing up for Georges’ training programs. With the launch of Rush 2.0 in the bag, I sat down with the champ alongside his trainer Erik Owings to draw back the curtain on the creation of the fitness challenge everyone wants to complete.
“I’ve never been officially diagnosed, but I’m pretty sure I have OCD,” begins Georges. “I don’t know where it comes from, but I know it’s served me well. It’s kept me sharp. It may sound crazy, but a lot of champions have something a little ‘off’ in their brain. Anytime you meet someone who’s really good at something, they have that special something that’s a little bit off. That thing that sets them apart from the rest of society. Just look at Elon Musk. Apparently, he’s got autism. When he talks, you can see he’s a little bit different. That’s why he’s so smart and successful at what he does.”
Trainer Erik Owings attributes Georges’ impenetrable fight record to his unwavering quest for perfection.
“When you’re filming, you can mess up and reshoot, but when you’re fighting for real, there’s no room for error,” he explains. “If you make just one tiny mistake, and I mean for a millisecond, it’s over, and your whole career can be completely different. I think that’s one of the reasons Georges is so successful. He can handle the pressure. Obsessive-compulsive or not, you have to be able to handle immense pressure in the cage. Many fighters try to relax, and they let their mind wander. That’s when the critical moment comes, and they make that one little mistake. That’s what differentiates greatness from mediocrity, in my opinion. As a great fighter, Georges keeps himself in impeccable shape even though he’s now retired because it’s ingrained behavior.”
The Launch of Rushfit 2.0…
Georges now declares it his ‘duty’ to pass on his knowledge and skills to others, helping them improve their fitness levels and acquire martial arts skills as a form of self-defense.
“For me, training is therapy, and I think it’s my duty to try to pass on my knowledge. Everything we do in the Rushfit program mirrors our fighting and training style. We’ve digressed a little to show how it’s done from the beginning and appeal to a wide audience, but as you progress through the program, it becomes more advanced.”
If your goal is to get shredded this summer, you’ll be delighted to discover the intensity of Georges’ program can be said to counteract plenty of tempting treats.
“I can eat pretty much whatever I want because of the way I work out,” says Georges. “I love food. I love pasta. I love a lot of things that are not so ‘healthy’ for me. But I burn a lot of calories, so I’m still healthy and in decent shape.”
The 8-week Rushfit 2.0 program has been meticulously designed to benefit anyone, anywhere.
“We designed the series to be practiced solo with no equipment,” says Erik. “You could literally just have a tiny living room area. Just your body and space; that’s all you need. We included partner drills as a bonus feature to teach striking, grappling and kickboxing skills too.
“The program’s main focus is on bodyweight exercises, mobility and strength-building movements. Mastering your own body weight is essential to be able to fight. We developed a format that requires minimal time whilst focusing on the neuromuscular components: balance, mobility, strength, speed, and endurance. It starts off deliberately easy and builds in complexity. At any time if you say, ‘Hey, this is too much,’ you can regress. If you do have to step back, don’t punish yourself. I used to fight professionally, I teach every day and it still challenges me if I’m honest.
“Using your own body weight is the safest way to make rapid progress. If you try to do an Olympic lift and suddenly add a bunch of weight or intensity into it, you may not get the best result and have a high risk of injury, whereas with a pushup for example, you can pile on the intensity immediately. The neuromuscular component is the most underrated component of working out. Everybody always talks about strength, endurance and mobility; all of those things are important, but the neuromuscular is everything. It’s how we learn- we learn from language. Martial arts is a language of the body. It’s like a dance.
“That said, everybody from the most basic trainers to the most advanced will get something out of it. It’s for anybody from anywhere. I’d recommend following it three to four times a week, but if you have a bad week and you only do it twice, that’s fine. Sometimes people think they must constantly work out to make progress, but the body needs rest, so we recommend doing it every other day.”
Georges stresses the importance of establishing fundamentals through progressively structured training, which the Rushfit program is designed to provide.
“When you build a house, you need a very strong foundation, otherwise, everything will crumble,” he explains. “Your body is made the same way. If you don’t have a good foundation and you try to do a hard workout, you have a high risk of injury. So Eric and I explain how to build a strong foundation first and once the foundation is built, you can go full on and work very hard. In martial arts, the key is in the detail.”
In addition to his highly effective training program, Georges incorporates ice baths into his daily schedule to enhance sleep and says consistency is king in the quest for success.
“My motto is: ‘Do a little a lot, not a lot a little!’ It’s all about consistency,” he says,
“I try to sleep as much as I can. Sleep is everything. It affects your mood, your endocrine system, everything. When you sleep, that’s when your brain and your body assimilate your workout. Adequate sleep is key to be able to progress in fitness. I try to work out pretty much every day. I don’t work out hard every day, but I try to do, like I said, a little a lot, rather than a lot a little. Consistency is key.
“I love my ice bath too. It gives me a good rush of adrenaline and helps boost testosterone. When I do it first thing in the morning it helps me through the day. If I want to enhance my quality of sleep, I take an ice bath just before bed. I mix hot and cold therapy. So I go ice bath, jacuzzi, ice bath, jacuzzi. You can mix a hot and cold shower if you don’t have an ice bath. This creates a dump of adrenaline and improves sleep drastically. When you take an ice bath or cold shower, it raises your adrenaline because you’re in survival mode, you’re fighting hypothermia, so if you finish with something very hot on top of that you dump your adrenaline. That’s when you’ll see a huge difference in your sleep.”
Get Consistent! Try Georges’ Morning Schedule
ICE BATH Mix hot and cold therapy to boost testosterone and improve sleep quality
GYM OR HOME WORKOUT
You can access Rushfit 1, Rushfit 2 and all bonus workouts at www.rushfit.com