Ilaria Montagnani’s PowerStrike is a 58 minute kickboxing workout; 6 minute warm up, 48 minute training time and 4 minute cool down/stretch. The “4” in parenthesis is because it is not clear exactly where this PowerStrike falls in the DVD chronology. It’s titled as straight PowerStrike, which would imply it is the first Powerstrike, but I’ve seen it also listed on Amazon and other places as PowerStrike 4. Apparently this refers to this workout being the 4th in a series of kickboxing workouts Ilaria has done, but the first she has done on her own (apparently the first 3 were done with a partner).
Of the three PowerStrike workouts I own, this one is the easiest and my least favorite. That sounds so negative. I actually really enjoy this workout. Also, I would say it is intermediate level—so it’s not an easy or a beginner workout. I’m just comparing it to PowerStrike 5 and PowerStrike 6. In fact, PowerStrike (4) is the perfect workout to introduce you to Ilaria’s kickboxing—it is a little slower paced and gives you a lot of punching and kicking practice. It’s a good way of perfecting form before moving on to the faster pace and more complex choreography of 5 & 6. As I mentioned in PowerStrike 6 review, to boost intensity, wear weighted gloves.
PowerStrike (4) is the longest PowerStrike workout I own. After the warm up, Ilaria takes you into punch drills, then an extended kick drill segment. The punch and kick drills (especially the kicks) have a lot of reps. After the drills, you move into the combo routines. All of the combos are done add on style. So you do each move slowly at first before putting them together. You do two punch/kick combos, one pure punching combo, then you repeat the first two punch/kick combos on the other side of the body. You finish with a fast paced sumo squat routine with your hands/arms in different guard positions. You finish with a brief cool down. As with all of Ilaria’s workouts, the cool downs are not the best and doing a longer stretch afterward would probably be to your benefit.
Ilaria is a great instructor. She has a professional but friendly demeanor and her form is impeccable. Throughout the workout she puts a lot of emphasis on form, so regardless of the pace of the moves, if you focus on form, you will get an excellent workout.