Ilaria Montagnani is an internationally acclaimed fitness expert who founded Powerstrike in 1995. Inspired by the idea of pushing physical limits to ignite inner strength, she combined her martial arts background with contemporary choreography to develop a groundbreaking approach to group fitness.

Media outlets from around the world have taken notice. Ilaria's workouts have been featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Martha Stewart Show, The Dr. Oz Show, The Tyra Show, and CBS and ABC Evening News, among many others. The Wall Street Journal called her a "leading force" in the fitness world and New York Magazine labeled her one of the city's top fitness gurus. In 2010, ECA voted Ilaria Best Female Presenter.

Ilaria's journey to the top of the fitness world began over 20 years ago. On a mission to learn English, she came from her native Italy to New York in 1987 and quickly discovered more than just a new language. One of her most meaningful discoveries was Karate, which she began studying with intense determination. After pursuing her first black belt, she devoted several years to learning kickboxing and continued studying to perfect Iaido sword training. Ilaria also has been deeply committed to strength training for over 20 years and still challenges herself to break new barriers.

When she's not teaching to packed studios in New York City, Ilaria travels the world sharing Powerstrike's inspirational workouts. She has trained instructors and developed programs for facilities in the U.S, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Italy, and throughout South America. She stars in the Powerstrike DVD series and has written a book on her popular Samurai sword workout, Forza—aptly named: In Italian, it means "strength."