Powerstrike 5

Ilaria Montagnani
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts

My only problem with this workout: Time flew by so fast that when the 50 minutes was up, I was like, "Already? Is there more?"

No, it's not as intense as the first two. It's about on par with Powestrike 4 - you'll work up a good solid sweat but it's not non-stop hard-core wipe-you-out tough. But that's fine with me!

Ilaria leads a hip young group of New Yorkers (I'm pretty sure it's in the Equinox facility in NYC) in a bright, spare room with the standard warm brown wood floors and big glass walls. There are no pushups in the warmup this time.

The workout is divided into punches, kicks and combinations. First: You do a built-up series of punches, hooks, uppercuts and crosses. A whole combination: jab-jab-cross, hook, cross, upper, cross, jab-cross-jab, cross-jab-cross, jab cross (the subordinate arm depending on which stance you're in always does a cross...this is great in helping you remember the long sequences of punches, since the variety only occurs with one arm).

Then you do a series of kicks. Front pushes, roundhouses and side kicks with taps and then with squats, and crescent kicks. As is typical with Powerstrike, you build up from basic knee ups to longer kick combinations (but not nearly as long as in previous workouts).

The combinations surprised me. There are three, but you DON'T do one side and then later, the other side! They are structured pretty much so that you get an approximately equal amount of work for both sides. First combo: knee, two front kicks, step into roundhouse kick with other leg, then knee and crescent kick with first leg, squat, roundhouse (more or less; my memory sucks). Then you add on a short punching combo.

Second combo includes "karate punches" in horse stance, then stand straight, circle arms around, put hands together and "push" forward with them. The third combo is a series of blocks and punches, plus knee-roundhouses. These combos aren't nearly as intense as classic Powerstrike, but you certainly do martial arts moves not often seen in workout videos.

The music starts out with a sort of trance-tribal drumming and female (or children) voices. It's a steady pulsing beat yet rather soothing and hypnotic -- house, ambient, whatever they call it these days.

Instructor Comments:
Very similar to Powerstrike 4--low-key, pleasant, a little wry humor. Impeccable form as always, and solid cuing. Ripped as usual.