Beachbody Reviews

A Review of P90X3 Eccentric Lower (it’s tempo training)

June 21, 2016

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You’re going to want to find out why I give P90X3 Eccentric Lower a B+ before you hit play.

Tony Horton explains eccentric training this way:

“…a focus on the part of the exercise when the muscles are elongated which increases the force on the muscle being worked.”

Don’t sweat it if that sounds like pig Latin, just know that you’re getting stronger in a new way.  Try to do the exercises exactly the way Tony tells you to.  (Pay attention to the changes in tempo/speed during each rep.  This changes the emphasis on the muscles.)

P90X3 Eccentric Lower is just one of the routines in the P90X3 series:

Calf Dog, TT Plus, Weighted Pistol. These are some of the reasons this program doesn’t make the grade for me.

The exercises are unique.  But the creativity ends up feeling forced and some of the exercises are just weird and ineffective.  I don’t love this routine.

Let me explain further…

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the cover art from the P90X3 eccentric lower workout

Instructor-Tony Horton



Dumbbells (I use 5, 8, 10, 12, 15, 20, and 25 lbs.)


*If you’re on carpet then you won’t need the mat.

Power Stands (optional)

Length-32 minutes

HRM-204 calories


My rating– B+

Ladies-Check out my favorite colored dumbbells.  And I recommend reading, A Woman’s Guide to Buying Dumbbells, if you have some questions.

The Important Stuff about Eccentric Lower in P90X3

P90X3 Eccentric Lower is a lower body strength-training program using dumbbells.  It’s not just squats.  The exercises use changes in tempo to work your muscles in a different way.  This is all good.  You should regularly challenge your muscles in new ways to get results.

All of the exercises are done as a group.  (So, you’re one of the team:-))

There’s a girl (Shannon) demonstrating some of the exercises using an exercise band (or no equipment).

Tony Horton does almost none of this program.  I find that annoying but that’s just how he rolls.

Ladies, I’ll tell you what weights I use so you’ll have a starting point but you’ll need to individualize the workout to your own abilities.

Read to the end for tips on each section in this routine as well as links to a few places you can compare prices for the P90X3 program.


The warm-up is about 4 minutes long.  Tony introduces his crew during this section.  There are aerobic moves and a few stretches.

Main Workout (The Exercises in P90X3 Eccentric Lower)


I hold 20’s

You do 10 reps (with the team)

You lower slowly and pop up (*welcome to eccentric training*).  Make sure you’re sticking your butt out and keeping your back flat.


I keep my 20’s on this exercise.

There are 10 on the right and 10 on the left.  You know the tempo now so do it right.  Stay with the team.  Keep your core tight and your chest up.  If you have bad knees then go lighter with the weights (or don’t use weights).


I use a 30 lb. dumbbell for this exercise.

It’s a plié squat.  Do 10 reps with the same tempo.

Keep your chest up.  Squeeze your butt (like you’re grabbing an Ace of Spades with your crack) at the top of the move.

Weighted Pistol

I use one 10 lb. dumbbell (Shannon doesn’t use any equipment on this exercise).

This is a one-legged squat.  You hold one leg extended out in front.  My front heel taps with each rep.

If you have crappy balance you may get frustrated on this exercise.  Be patient.  Get in as many as you can.  You should still be trying to explode up from the squat.

Do 10 reps on each leg.

Side Kick

You won’t need any equipment.

You’ll want to hold on to a chair, coffee table, couch (you get the idea) to do this.  It’s a slow knee flexion with an exploding side kick.  Try to keep your leg high.

There are 10 reps on each leg.

Front Kick

I hold a 10 lb. dumbbell on this exercise.

Keep the weight close to where your hip and thigh meet.  Keep the leg up the whole set.

Go stand by something to grab in case you lose your balance.  It’s not cheating if you have to hold the counter on this exercise.  It’ll help you keep your balance but it doesn’t make the exercise easier.

Ten reps each leg.

Albanian Squat

This is a one-leg lunge with one foot elevated behind you.

Don’t elevate your foot too high behind you or you’ll be unsteady.  I use a chair with a low seat or my step.

I hold my 15 lb. dumbbells.  There are 10 reps on each leg.

These hit deep in the glute muscle.

Adductor Lunge

I hold a 12 lb. weight

Try to raise your leg high and lower it back down as slow as you can before you pop up for the next rep.  Don’t slam down into your leg.

Ten reps on each leg.

Cross Reach

Hold a 5 or 8 lb. dumbbell for this exercise.

Go slow and controlled when you rise up and faster on the flex down.  Keep your core tight so you don’t tweak your back.  This is a balance move.  Do your best.

There are 10 on each leg.

TT Plus (Tony’s Triangle)

You don’t need any equipment for TT Plus (except a mat if you’re on a hard surface).  I can’t do ten of these (the goal is 10 per side).  You’re challenged to do a high (or low) side plank and lift and lower your leg to the front and back alternating.

I start in the high plank position and end up in a low side plank.  I can only do about 5 of these on each side.  My goal is to be able to do 10 but I find it really hard to find a sweet spot on my foot to balance on.  These are frustrating for me.  I cuss at Tony a lot during this part.

Bridge Kicks

I use one 15 lb. dumbbell to do this move.

The exercise is a hip lift with a raised leg.  Keep your hips off the floor the whole time.

The team on the video appears to be able to raise themselves a lot higher off the floor than I’m able to do.  I don’t know what that’s all about.  

There are 10 per leg.

Hip Flexor Splits

I’ve tried to do this on PowerStands (this is Tony Horton’s brand of push-up bars) and it’s always a hilarious messI recommend you do them on the floor.

There are ten.

The exercise puts you sitting on your hands with your legs in a split in front of you.  You open and close your legs at the speed Tony prompts you.

Calf Dog

This is a one-legged calf raise in a downward dog position.  Try to keep that same tempo you’ve been using for the whole routine.

You do ten on each leg.

Cool Down/Stretch

The cool down and stretch is a little over 2 minutes long.  Make sure you stretch your lower body back out while your muscles are warm.  No one has permission to skip this section.

Now What?

I love that this program isn’t just a ton of different kinds of squats, however, the exercises that are substituted just aren’t all that effective.

Definitely invest in the P90X3 program, but do it because of the other routines in the series.

When I do Eccentric Lower I usually pair it with a core routine or P90X3 Eccentric Upper.

You can find P90X3 Eccentric Lower in the P90X3 program by Beachbody on Amazon.

And in the library of routines in a Beachbody on Demand membership. (There’s a FREE TRIAL period!)

 Thank you for reading!  You’re awesome!


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  1. Tim Prince says:

    Loving these reviews – also very helpful. Especially knowing the weights that you are using.

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