Tyler Robbins Fitness

B.Sc. Biochemistry, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT/CF-L3), USA Weightlifting Level 1

P90X3 Complex Lower Coaching, Advice, and Complete Review

Equipment Needed





When does it appear in the schedules?

P90X3 Classic Schedule: N/A
P90X3 Doubles Schedule: N/A
P90X3 Lean Schedule: N/A
P90X3 Mass Schedule: N/A
P90X3 Elite Schedule: Days 2 & 5


Welcome to the Elite block of P90X3. The purpose of the Elite block of training is to take the strength and coordination built from the first 3 phases of P90X3 and make your muscles as athletic and dynamic as possible. Through a training style known as post-activation potentiation, you will use a repeating "complex" to train your muscles to perform better.


Ever since the arrival of P90X2, I have been a huge fan of this style of training, known as post-activation potentiation. By combining heavy resistance exercise with explosive, powerful movements, and stabilization, you are training your muscles to perform better.

When your muscles perform better, or in other words, become more athletic, you are able to do not only every day things better, but you are able to train harder and more efficiently, and can compete at a higher level.

Unfortunately, there were a number of reasons why I believe many people were turned away from P90X2. Many of the problems seemed to stem from frustration with the training styles, or the apparent lack of "calorie burn." For those of you who stuck with the program, like I did, would've witnessed a remarkable improvement in your level of athleticism.

With P90X3, we are now given yet another option, or tool, to use at our disposal when it comes to training athletically. Complex Lower is a fantastic workout, and like Complex Upper, it wastes very little time. The entire workout is sequenced extremely well and is very efficient in using the time allotted.


One very small complaint I have here is the use of the "Knee Drop Squat." There are a few reasons why I believe Beachbody uses this variety of squat, but I prefer using a bench or chair for stabilization for the trailing back leg.

I believe Beachbody has done this for a couple different reasons. One, I believe they are trying to keep the workouts as free from additional equipment as possible. I lost count, the number of times I heard people piss and moan about a few extra pieces of equipment, that were optional mind you, for P90X2.

Also, the squat variety here includes some stabilization from the working glutes in order to maintain balance. Personally, though, I prefer using a bench or chair for the trailing foot, as I find the greater range of motion and added stability outweighs any potential "advantages" from a balance-type one-leg squat. You could also use more weight too.

One other con is that there is a lateral plyometric exercise that requires a decent amount of room in your exercise space. Known as the "Triple Speed Skater," if you don't have enough room for a "triple," then make sure to modify it to be a single or a double. If you don't know what this means, you will when you try the routine.


Like Complex Upper, this routine is an absolute scorcher. If anyone thinks that they can't get a "good workout" done in just 30 minutes need to give their head a shake and try these two routines. The pacing and selection of exercises here will have you breathing heavy in no time.

The very nature of post-activation potentiation training encourages you to literally give 100% on every repetition and set, especially the explosive or plyometric exercises. By training that intensely, along with the pace of this routine, you will no doubt be pushed to your limit.

Difficulty: 5/5

Workout Design

Just like Complex Upper, this routine has a slightly longer warm-up than what is seen in any other X3 workout.

This routine is made up of a "complex" of 5 exercises that is repeated for 4 total rounds (20 exercises total). The complex has 2 resistance exercises, 2 plyometric exercises, and a stabilization exercise.

Besides the small complaint about the Knee Drop Squats, I really do like the exercise selection here. There is a good combination of squats and lunges, not to mention explosive activity. Make sure that you have enough room in your workout space to maximize the effectiveness of every explosive movement. These power movements are not done for a lot of repetitions, so make sure you are jumping as high and as far as you can on every exercise.

Great workout design, just a small complain about the Knee Drop Squats.

Workout Design: 4.5/5


Here is a great write-up from Beachbody's fitness advisor Steve Edwards on how great P.A.P. is.

In laymen terms, this means that doing heavy lifting prior to explosive activity can actually help you fire higher threshold muscle cell motor units which, even even simpler terms, means that you will jump higher, run faster, or life more weight.

A good real world application is one P3 athlete who warmed up for a 100 meter race doing heavy squats prior to setting a PR.

Oh, and another great read here.

If you still aren't convinced that this type of training is for you, make sure to check out P3. Dr. Marcus Elliott, the brainchild behind P3 has collaborated with Beachbody for such programs as P90X2 and P90X3 to design elite-level athletic training for a home setting.


I am an athlete. I have been my entire life. I played competitive soccer and hockey (as well as a number of other sports) growing up. I have always had a deep interest in athletic training, so I love to pick up workouts like this to train my body to perform better.

Ultimately the question will be asked time and time again whether or not this routine will be worth the price.

I personally had no problems shelling out the extra cash for the Elite DVD because I had already personally witnessed the incredible athletic improvements in my own performance after completing P90X2. The thought that I could add 2 more P.A.P. routines to my library was an absolute no-brainer to me, although I can see the reservations most might have with the price.

I have said it before, and I will say it again. I personally think the investments I make in my health and fitness (assuming they line up with my goals) are good ones to make, especially for a product that I can use in my home gym time and time again for years to come. Some people don't bat an eye shelling out cash for a monthly gym membership, others don't mind spending the money to add to their home workout library. To each their own.

Overall: 9.5/10