Whitten WOD: How To Be Efficient & Grind Through

The Whitten WOD is a long and grueling CrossFit Hero WOD that will test your endurance and efficiency with mostly lightweight movements.

Unlike many hero workouts, Whitten involves no heavy barbells. You’ll simply be grinding your way through 5 rounds of 5 exercises that will all take a decent clip to complete individually.

Your best bet is to stay efficient, have a strategy, and grind through. Here’s everything you need to know about the Whitten WOD.

What Is The Whitten WOD?

5 Rounds For Time:

  • 22 Kettlebell Swings (2/1.5 pood)
  • 22 Box Jumps (24/20 in)
  • 400 meter Run
  • 22 Burpees
  • 22 Wall Ball Shots (10/9 ft, 20/14 lbs)

Here is a video of 2009 CrossFit games champion Mikko Salo completing Whitten. He kills the workout in under 31 minutes!

The Whitten WOD Strategy

Here are some strategies to help you get a great time on the Whitten WOD.

First, treat the first 2 rounds like an extended– but steady– warm up. A round will take you 7-10 minutes.

You’ll pay for it in the later rounds if you go out too hard too early. Honestly, this is such a long workout that you might not finish at all if you do.

Second, get into a rhythm with each movement. There are 440 reps and more than a mile of running to do in this workout. Set a goal like doing 11 reps per set, breaking each set up into thirds (8, 7, 7) or something similar. Stick to your plan.

Third, use the run to recover. I know, I know. It’s a hero WOD, and that’s not going “all out”, so you feel wrong about it. It’s designed to wear your legs down, so play it smart on the runs. Running a slightly faster 400m at the expense of you being out of breath after (the real killer, especially if you don’t know how to do burpees properly) will only add time to your overall score.

Finally, be as efficient as possible with each movement. Squat only to depth on the wall balls. Get the kettlebell exactly to height without thrusting too hard. Inches matter in a slugfest like this.

Sample Warm-Up

When you warm up for Whitten, focus on your hips, glutes, and calves. This workout will be very taxing on your legs.

Consider a light circuit that involves some cardio mixed with activation exercises for the lower body. Here’s an example:

3 Rounds:

To prevent injuries, you should also do some light plyometrics like box jumps or rope skipping before you start. Don’t go into your first box jumps without doing some plyos in the warm up.

More WODs for You to Try:
Nate WOD
Zeus WOD

Whitten WOD Scoring

Your goal with Whitten is to complete 5 rounds as fast as possible. Common scores posted by others range between 30-55 minutes. If you think it will take you longer, scale.

The Whitten WOD Scaled Version

Because Whitten doesn’t have any really heavy movements, you should only scale the workout if you are new to CrossFit. It’s going to be a mental grind any way you cut it.

You can scale Whitten by reducing the workout to 4 or 3 rounds. Keep the reps at 22 so the workout maintains the same pacing.

Who Was Dan Whitten?

Dan Whitten was a captain in the United States army. He died while fighting for our country in Afghanistan in 2010.

Taken from CrossFit.com’s website:

“US Army Captain Dan Whitten, 28, of Grimes, IA, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, based out of Fort Bragg, NC, died February 2, 2010, when enemy forces in Zabul, Afghanistan attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device.”

Whitten was originally posted on CrossFit.com on Sunday, December 12, 2010.


The Whitten WOD is a physical and mental test. Go into the workout with a strategy on how you’ll break up reps, use your runs to get your heart rate down, and be as efficient as possible. 440 reps and a mile and a quarter later, you’ll be yelling “time”.

Check out more Hero WOD guides for strategy and pacing techniques. Good luck!