/var/www/html/wp-content/themes/Divi/single.php By the Numbers | Torrance Training Lab

Some of you might have noticed that in class, we’ve been breaking down movements by number. This is part of the book, “By the Numbers” written by Sean Manseau. If you guys don’t know who he is, he’s been in the CrossFit game for a while and it a stickler for correct movement standards. So he wrote this book in order for coaches to teach all athletes, whether new or experienced how to move well. He also provides a “movement hierarchy” where you follow specific progressions before moving on to a more advanced movement. Most of the positions also translate to other movements as well, for example the hip hinge in air squats will be the same for kettle bell swings.

This confers five advantages:


  1. Working pose-to-pose improves athletes’ proprioception, as holding a pose gives them time to make sense of the relative positions of limbs and trunk.
  2. Holding poses aids in trainees’ forming muscle memory of proper positioning, expediting their progress from learning basic mechanics to being able to perform an exercise with consistently good form.
  3. Teaching poses allows corrections to be made real time, while the errors are occurring.
  4. Pose-to-pose is a powerful tool for instructing large groups, especially in complex movements like the clean or Turkish get-up.
  5. It standardizes instruction, so all of your trainees are getting the same information and cues, no matter who happens to be teaching.
Manseau, S. (n.d.). Movement as Animation: Teaching CrossFit “By the Numbers” Retrieved from http://breakingmuscle.com/

In other gyms, athletes movements vary tremendously depending on where they learned all the movements we do in CrossFit. Our hope is to have all our members at Torrance CrossFit be familiar with the numbered positions so on snatch day, you know what position 7 is (Overhead receiving position).

I have used by the numbers on a few of my personal training clients as well as Dan, and the results have been pretty amazing. I think it makes it easier for the member to remember correct positions by having them hold key positions in such complex barbell movements like the snatch or clean. I personally love the progressions presented in the book, they are really designed to help you progress to more difficult movements.

We hope to incorporate more By the Numbers in each class, especially on skill days Thursdays where we spend a little more time on specific movements.