Why is it that the easiest looking workouts are the most challenging? CrossFit has a way of coming up with such workouts.

They’re either low in reps, low in rounds, and/or don’t include many exercises.

These workouts have you thinking you will have a decent finishing time – until you start them. King Kong is that workout.

What is the King Kong WOD?

It’s very simple.

3 rounds for time of:

  • 1 deadlift (455 lbs/ 320 lbs)
  • 2 Muscle Ups
  • 3 Squat Cleans (250/175lbs)
  • 4 Handstand Push Ups


It looks simple when you see the amount of rounds and reps. But when you look at the weight to Rx it, you may want to give up before starting.

Unless that is, your PR happens to be very close or over those pounds.

This workout is definitely not for the weak of mind or body. But are there modifications?

Yes. There are always modifications for the individual who has just started CrossFitting or is not at that level.

Where did this workout come from?

On October of 2008, CrossFit Alexandria posted a video of the King Kong workout. U.S. Army Sergeant Matt Okonsky did the workout.

In it, they claim that Okonsky was the first to try it.

His finish time was 7:37.

Anyone else care to try it?


U.S. Army Sergeant Matt Okonsky Performs King Kong




There’s no mention of the person(s) who came up with this craziness so we may never know.

The Fastest King Kong CrossFit WOD Times

Today, many athletes have done the workout in way less than seven minutes. Check out the finishing times:

Sam Dancer

Time: 1:32 (2014)



Danny Nichols

Time: 1:50 (2014)



Dmitry Klokov

Time: 1:56 (2014)



Rich Froning

Time: 2:36 (2011)




As far as we know, Sam Dancer still holds the record for the fastest time.

So there you have it. The King Kong workout LOOKS manageable but it surely doesn’t feel like it.

This is one deceptively tough workout. And as the saying goes, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.

Give it a whirl even if you have to scale it. You can only get better, stronger and faster.

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