USA Strongman Derek DeVaughan – The Hunt for the Pro-Card..

Derek DeVaughan Strongman
Derek and Bill Kazmaier

Derek DeVaughan is rising through the USA Strongman ranks and is working to get his American Strongman Pro-Card this year.

Derek DeVaughan Strongman
Derek and Bill Kazmaier

We thought it would be great to catch up, with this Baseballer turned Strongman…

Phil Burgess: You are looking to get your pro-card soon by winning a US qualifying event, tell us more?

Derek DeVaughan: I am competing at the Europa Get Fit American Strongman/Strongman Fitness Challenge. June 29th and 30th this year.

Being a pro would give me the opportunity to compete against the best.

Phil Burgess: What competition placing to date are you the proudest of achieving?

Derek DeVaughan: 10th place in the 2011 Arnold Classic Amateur World Championships.

Phil Burgess: How did you get into the sport of Strongman?

Derek DeVaughan: I was a baseball player through college. When I was finished with baseball I needed something new to focus my attention on.

Lifting heavy weights quickly got my attention, but I was a long way from being ready for any competitions, so I worked hard in the gym for several years before I did my first strongman competition.

My first strongman comp was in 2007 at Core Fitness Club in Mooresville, IN.

I won the competition and have been hooked ever since.

Phil Burgess: How tall are you and how much do you weigh?

Derek DeVaughan: 6′ 5″ 300 lbs. But with the help of my beautiful wife Heather and her good cooking, I will continue to gain weight each year.

She is probably at the store right now loading up on ingredients for another big pot of chilli.

Phil Burgess: What is your best Deadlift, Squat and Log Press?

Derek DeVaughan:

  • Deadlift-765 pounds
  • Squat-630 pounds
  • Log Press -340 pounds

Phil Burgess: Mike Jenkins told me that he never does bench press. Do you do Bench Press and if so how do you feel it helps you?

At the Arnold Comp

Derek DeVaughan: Of course I bench, I have to tell all the people at Wal-Mart a number when they say “dude, how much u bench?” haha.

Seriously I do bench occasionally, but I don’t believe it is an exercise that will help to improve any specific strongman event, so if I don’t have a lot of time to train I will focus more on strongman related lifts.

I learned this the hard way because last year I set a goal to bench 500 lbs and spent too many training days on it.  I got to 470lb before I realized how much more efficient I could use my time if I were working on strongman related lifts.

Phil Burgess:What do you do when not competing or training?

Derek DeVaughan: To relax, I coach both of my boys’ little league sports.

I work as a Personal Trainer.

Phil Burgess: What do you consider the best assistance exercises for building up strength for carrying the yoke?

Derek DeVaughan: Lots of Squats

Phil Burgess: Where are you from and what is the best thing about living there?

Derek DeVaughan:  Martinsville, IN. (USA)

I live near people who also have a passion for strongman.

I train with Aaron Molin throughout the week who is also the Owner of Core Fitness Club and where I am a personal trainer.

Aaron makes sure that I have the best equipment and facility to get the most out of every workout.

Every Sunday morning at 6am Aaron and Jason Nunn, another strongman competitor meet me at the gym so we can train any upcoming contests together.

There are several others aroud the area that have been very supportive so without a doubt, the best thing about living where I do is the people that are here.

Derek playing with some Axles

Phil Burgess: Finally what do you love the most about being a strongman competitor?

Derek DeVaughan: I love that my results are a direct reflection of the work I put in……







  1. Derek is the man, great trainer, great father and awesome person! Everyone at Core is the best! Can’t wait for Derek to get his pro-card, he deserves it!

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