In between being a sarcastic know-it-all and international superstar, I have an insatiable addiction to home workout videos such as P90X, Insanity and Asylum. Based on that I already know what most of you are thinking: How does RUSHFIT size up to these top contenders for home fitness? Allow me to throw my body into the blades of Georges St. Pierre’s combine for the sake of you all.
To clarify, my knowledge of MMA fighting is limited. My total martial arts experience is about ten years of Shotokan Karate. Sounds impressive? Well, it isn’t. Karate will seal your doom should you ever be stupid enough to invoke it in an actual combat situation against a grappler. MMA is all about holds, ju-jitsu, powerful muscles and cardio. Every damn thing Mr. Miagi glossed over when training Daniel-San.
I had no delusions of getting a body like GSP who I can assure you, personally trains in a way not seen on these videos! Guys like that do forms of training that would have guys like me crying on the floor after ten seconds. But this is home fitness, and killing customers is bad for business. I just hope GSP feels the same way.
- RushFit 6 DVD Set containing 7 workouts. Program length is 8 Weeks.
- Weights ( the programs says they are optional, but come on…you’ve gone this far! )
For reasons which will quickly become obvious, Georges has Erik Owings doing the instructing. It’s not that Georges is incapable, it’s just that he has a very thick French Canadian accent that will go right over a lot of people. It can be like understanding Brad Pitt playing the gypsy in Snatch. To illustrate, I grew up close to St. Alphonse, MB ( a deeply french community ) and I still have no idea what the Hell they’re saying when they speak English.
But Erik does a fine job. In fact, I would say the dual-input from Erik and Georges makes the workout a very enjoyable experience.
And finally, all DVD’s have an 11 minute warm-up, 30min workout, and 7 minute cool-down. Thus they all run at 45 minutes. Each routine has 5 rounds at 5 minutes a set…not so coincidentally the same length of time as an MMA fighting round.
ABDOMINALS AND CORE CARDIO
I DARE you to not tense your core doing this workout. With the use of weights you involve your stabalizer muscles in a whole new way. One thing I noticed is that form is not emphasized as much as P90X, but then again perhaps Tony is nitpicking the kids too! In either case, this is a seriously effective DVD.
STRENGTH and ENDURANCE
It seems the 11 minute warm up and the 7 minute cool downs are all going to be the same footage. Oh well. Either way the 30 minutes in this DVD are awfully dang hard. For example, the POP UPS will take some time. My initial attempt resulted in my 3 year old having a laugh at my expense.
As with all the workouts there are 5 rounds at 5 minutes each. That last 3 sets involve weights. And as with any workout, what you get out will depend what you put in. So don’t wuss out on the weight. This is a total body workout, so unless you use the right iron it probably will leave you wanting.
Say hello to your plyometrics workout. What makes Rushfit’s approach to plyo unique is doing less reps and including weights. Unlike Insanity where the plyo is go-go-go, here you do your move, pause, then do it again. Therefore the goal is not to get your heart-rate up, but rather your muscles to burn. Because of that this is a pretty good addition to any plyometric arsenal, but it’s no more difficult than PlyoX and certainly nowhere close to Asylum. A major downside to this workout is the scheduling…only ONCE per month for the Intermediate level. That’s just not enough in my opinion.
FULL BODY STRENGTH
A true core conditioning workout! Round one is speed, Rounds 2 and 3 weights and 4 and 5 circuit training with weight. This is a power-core attack. One thing that’s starting to get to me is Erik. The man has no humanity and can sometimes be drier than a popcorn fart. It is good that Georges supplies the necessary light hearted humor that only he can!
THE FIGHT CONDITIONING
This is the big enchilada. If you’re in some form of martial art, then this will really be something you can use to enhance your sparring skills.
Those familiar with P90X will know the KenpoX DVD. This is much, much harder that that and far more complex. Especially in the fourth and fifth rounds when you start the ground work with ju-jitsu basics such as Hip Escapes and Armbar Abs. I guarantee you won’t be going back to TaeBo any time soon!
BONUS WORKOUT #1 – STRETCHING for FLEXIBILITY
It’s hard to write up too much about a stretch workout. Safe to say that Erik and Georges cover all the necessary parts and give a good stretch to the body. There’s nothing here that you won’t find in some form or another in P90X or Insanity, but that’s just the nature of stretching. The only comedic side here is that Georges occasionally has something to say and gets cut off by Erik from time to time! It’s not disrespectful, it’s just that Erik has a stopwatch and be damned if he’s going to pause!
BONUS WORKOUT #2 – BALANCE and AGILITY
You need balance and agility in any program worth its salt, and RushFit delivers. This routine is a bit different because there are no “rounds” like previous workouts. It is 23 minutes straight through ( not including warm up and cool down ). I became aware of just how much the previous workouts hurt my glutes while doing this! The good news is that while this is balance and agility, it is also strength…which will become obvious when you try and get through the “Alligator crawls”!
What makes a workout video program a hit is generally the personality of the trainer. P90X sold a zillion copies because Tony Horton makes a workout fun while still smashing you. But admittedly for some people, Tony might not be their cup of tea with his occasional antics. Just be aware that Erik Owings swings to the extreme in the opposite direction.
Don’t get me wrong, Erik makes for a fine trainer. But he’s all business. No pterodactyl impressions or jokes. Depending on how you attack your fitness goals, that might just be exactly what you’re looking for. It is clear that Erik is an experienced trainer who knows how to get guys like Georges fit for combat, and not some fancy-pants fly-by-night fitness fad pusher. Like Tony Horton he is indeed a professional trainer, just one with a different personality.
The difficulty level of RushFit depends on you. The program comes with the option of Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced schedules. For me I chose Intermediate because Advanced has you doing 2 workouts a day in some cases which was more than an International Blogging Superstar such as myself could fit in.
And finally, how does it measure up to P90X or Insanity? It’s a shame to have to even ask this question, but I know everyone wants to know!
Like P90X, RushFit is a self-contained program you can stick with, and that’s what makes it worth looking at. The set is not a flurry of colors and the co-stars are not smiling idiots showing off their teeth. The music is generally a hard electric guitar sound, but it is a low volume and not overpowering. I do wish they had made individual cool-downs and warm-ups as the same footage gets old really fast. And finally, Erik and Georges make a good team. Georges is clearly a good natured fellow and really tries to impart some wisdom while Erik takes care of the technical.
In terms of intensity, that depends on the routine and especially you. The cardio workouts in P90X…if I may say so…suck. That’s why practically every P90X-er swaps out the cardio days for Shaun T’s Insanity. And the anemic Kenpo X shouldn’t even be spoken in the same breath as RushFit’s Fight Conditioning. And both P90X and RushFit weight training is as difficult as you want it to be. However, RushFit focuses more on higher reps to gain endurance and strength and as such it is not likely you will need more than 25lb weights. For many this will be a welcome change of pace, but not necessarily better.
My final advice? If you’ve gone through P90X and want something to add to your fitness arsenal then I highly recommend RushFit. There’s nothing simple about it…Erik and Georges will pound you into submission and give you a whole new world of fitness options. If you’ve gone through neither then in many ways it’s a toss up. Want fun fitness, more variety and the option to go easy or hardcore? Go P90X. Want martial arts style training with a serious attitude? Then RushFit just might be what you’re looking for.
4 FEATHERS OUT OF 5