CrossFit Athlete Drew Wayman Is Tuned In and Ready To Conquer the Granite Games

June 2, 2021 by
Photo Credit: Drew Wayman (
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In 2018, CrossFit athlete Drew Wayman missed booking a trip to the CrossFit Games by three seconds. Three years later, he has another opportunity. Wayman will compete in the Granite Games on June 4-6 in Eagan, MN. His goal will be to have his name near — or at — the top of the leaderboard at the end of the weekend. 

Remind me: Wayman originally began his CrossFit journey as a student at Ohio Northern University. He joined a small club — Polar Fit — and fell in love with the training methodology. He transferred to the University of Cincinnati after his freshman year, helped start a CrossFit club, and then began training to reach Regionals and then the Games. 

Wayman has made strides in his CrossFit career, going from 7374 in the 2016 Open to 61st in the 2018 Open (worldwide). He has since finished Quarterfinals 91st in the United States and set up a trip to the Granite Games. This Semifinal event is the lone obstacle remaining before he can book a trip to the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games. 

A size advantage: Wayman only knew one of the Granite Games workouts at the time of the interview — a couplet consisting of 70-pound dumbbell thrusters and 200-meter runs. There were numerous reactions to this first individual workout, as well as the size of the equipment, but Wayman expressed considerable excitement. He saw how this specific couplet would fit well with his skill set. 

  • “It’s honestly great for me, just the fact that I’m substantially bigger than most of the athletes that are out there,” Wayman explained. “Like, a 70-pound dumbbell isn’t gargantuan on my shoulders, you know, like it kind of fits there a little bit better than they do on some of the other athletes.” 
  • “And I think that’s a big part of what makes that movement so hard. It’s not that it’s heavy. It’s just awkward. So I think I should do well on that part. And then running is my favorite movement. So it’s the perfect way to put it.”

Early preparation: Despite entering the weekend with confidence in his abilities with dumbbells in his hands, Wayman plans on testing out the Granite Games workout. He will actually do all of the individual workouts as the event promoters release them. This strategy will help him plan out whether he will need to break up any sets or if he can push through. 

  • “I mean, they’re releasing all of them so early that we should,” Wayman said. Everyone, I would think, is going to practice them several times before we actually get on the competition floor.”
  • “I mean, they’re basically giving you the answers to the test ahead of time, right. So when you show up at the competition, you should know exactly how you’re supposed to perform that workout to get your best score.”

When Wayman steps onto the competition floor in Minnesota, he will do so at his first live competition in over a year. The moment will definitely be surreal considering that Wayman and his peers have been testing their skills in entirely virtual competitions, but the change will help him push even more. 

  • “It’s gonna be amazing. Yeah, I mean, it’s been a year and a half since I last competed in person,” Wayman said. “So it’s just such a different atmosphere. I mean, the fact that we’re, one, going to be competing next to other people is awesome.”
  • “It allows you to push so much harder, but then the fact that we get fans there as well. It’s just, it’s gonna be so different from what we’ve been doing for the past year and a half that I think it’s just gonna kind of set everyone on fire. It’s gonna be awesome.”

A guiding force: The journey from college CrossFit clubs to 91st in Quarterfinals was not simple. Wayman had to address some aspects of his game, including the ability to lift heavy. He partnered with Mitch Lyons, who also worked with Amanda Barnhart, and began shoring up weaknesses. 

  • “He’s made the biggest impact, I think overall, on my ability to push towards that next level,” Wayman said. “He’s just built me up confidence-wise, he’s really helped me dial in on all the things I need to work on the most, which I definitely don’t think I would have done nearly as well if I didn’t have him kind of guiding me along the right path.”
  • “He challenged me like, ‘why are you doing this, trying to go to the Games? like you’re making your own life a lot harder by trying to go to the Games. You can have a life outside of this.’ Just always mentally challenged me and pushed me, making sure I’m on the right path and working for the right stuff.”

Bottom line: Wayman does not know if he will perform better than Chandler Smith, Saxon Panchik, or Mitch Wagner among others. His goal is to obviously end the weekend in the top five and be ready for the CrossFit Games. Wayman can not control how the weekend will play out, but he can focus on fixing little issues that derailed him in the past. 

  • “My biggest thing is I always make these teeny, tiny mistakes in workouts that just cost me like really pivotal seconds, which add up over time and kind of leave me outside of the cut line just by a few points here,” Wayman explained. 
  • “So for me, especially with having these workouts so far ahead of time, is just making sure my execution is perfect on things. … If you mess up in another sport, sometimes you can just make a play after that. But like for us, that second, once it’s gone, it’s gone.” 

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