Derek began by competing in powerlifting and progressed to become the Connecticut State Champion. He started competing in strongman after finding an advertisement for a contest on the back of a powerlifting flyer. After earning his Professional Strongman card from the ASC (American Strongman Corporation), Derek took two years off competing to enter the Police Academy and become a police officer. He returned to compete in strongman, and placed fifth in the 2006 St. Patrick's Strongman National Qualifier. Derek then went on to place 2nd to the current IFSA World Champion Žydrūnas Savickas in the 2006 World Strongman Challenge contest in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Next, Derek placed 5th in the 2006 America's Strongest Man contest. This earned him an invite to the 2006 IFSA World Championships. On October 26, 2006, two weeks before the IFSA World Championships, Derek severely injured his lumbar spine during training while attempting a maximum effort deadlift of 366 kg (805 lb). Derek had a lumbar disc herniation (L4/5) and a massive spinal cord hemorrhage. Doctors told him that he would never lift again due to the severity of the injury.
Derek's return to the strongman competition circuit was the 2007 St. Patrick's Strongman contest in Columbia, South Carolina. Derek won by 3.5 points and overcame his deadlifting injury fear by completing a 364 kg (800 lb) deadlift during the competition. This victory qualified Derek to compete in the 2007 America's Strongest Man contest, which Derek won by a record 30 points. Derek also qualified to compete in the 2007 IFSA World Championships in Geumsan, South Korea. Additionally, Derek received an invite from Dr. Terry Todd to compete at the 2008 Arnold Strongman Classic, in Columbus, Ohio.
Derek also competed in two Team Strongman contests and a Highland Games/Strongman hybrid contest. First was the USA vs. World team contest put on by Al Thompson in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Derek and his team (Travis Ortmayer, Van Hatfield, Nick Best, Walt Gogola) pulled out an unprecedented victory against three of the top five European strongmen in the World, (Zydrunas Savickas, Vasyl Virastyuk, and Andrus Murumets). Team USA won the first three events and Team World won the next three events. Team USA won with a victory in the final event, the Atlas Stones. Derek's next contest was in Callander, Scotland at the World Highland Games contest. This contest was a Highland Games / Strongman hybrid. Derek won the event and set two world records. With Douglas Edmunds present, Derek broke Igor Pedan's 9 rep 25 kg (275 lb) Log Clean and Press World Record by powering through 3 reps, with 30 kg (286 lb). Derek also broke the current World Champion's, Zydrunas Savickas, 40 kg (308 lb) Block Press World Record by pressing out a 45 kg (39 lb) block. Derek's training partner Tom McClure also competed in Callander and placed 2nd. Derek's next contest was a team contest, the World's Strongest Nation held in Ukraine. This time Team USA consisted of Derek along with Travis Ortmayer, Tom McClure, and Brian Shaw. Team USA placed 2nd overall behind Team Ukraine led by Vasyl Virastyuk.
Derek competed in the 2007 IFSA World Championship held in Geumsan, South Korea. Derek was in 2nd position throughout the entire competition until the last event. During the final event, Derek ripped open his hands during the Farmer's Walk event, which caused him to drop the implements. Derek placed 4th overall in his first appearance at the World Championship, 2 points behind Mikhail Koklyaev and point behind the 2006 World Champ Zydrunas Savickas. Vasyl Virastyuk won the competition, becoming the first athlete to win both the World's Strongest Man Title and the IFSA World Championships. Derek's performance was the best ever recorded by an American at the IFSA World Championships.
Derek decided to compete on the WSM/SS circuit after sufficient political differences with IFSA. Derek was called up by Odd Haugen and asked to enter as a replacement athlete into the Mohegan Sun Super Series due to Kevin Nee pulling out with a torn biceps. Derek accepted and competed for the first time against Mariusz Pudzianowski. Derek defeated the four-time WSM champion and secured a qualification spot for the 2008 World's Strongest Man contest.
Derek competed in the 2008 Arnold Strongman Classic contest, his first appearance at the Arnold. Derek would take second place behind Zydrunas Savickas.
On June 29, 2008 during the 2 day Fortissimus contest, Derek became the first American to defeat Zydrunas Savickas. Derek and Zydrunas were approximately 40 points ahead of all the other competitors. Derek was the only athlete who managed to lift the 57 lb Louis Cyr Stone and secured his victory and title at the "Mightiest Man on the Planet."
Derek became the 2008 Strongman Super Series champion after accumulating the most points throughout the Grand Prix. st at the Mohegan Sun, 2nd at Madison Square Garden, and 4th at Sweden earned Derek enough to take the overall title.
Derek competed in the 2008 World's Strongest Man competition where he and Mariusz Pudzianowski, Poland's then four-time champion would go head-to-head in the final event, the atlas stones, with Derek leading in points. In the atlas stones, Derek gained the lead, but as he lifted the final stone, the stone slipped, falling to the ground and giving Mariusz Pudzianowski his record 5th World's Strongest Man title.
Derek’s next challenge was the 2009 Arnold Strongman Classic. With Zydrunas Savickas opting to take a year off, the crown was vacant. Derek set a new world record with 5 reps in the circus dumb bell event. Derek took first place overall, and became only the third man behind Mark Henry and Zydrunas Savickas to win the Arnold Strongman Classic title since its inception in 2002.
In May 2009, Derek was scheduled to defend his title at the Mohegan Sun Strongman Championship hosted by Giants Live. Derek won five of six events, taking second on one event, and took the overall title. Derek also set a new world record on the max apollon's axle clean and press. Derek competed in the 2009 World's Strongest Man competition, which took place in Malta, being in fourth place after Brian Shaw, Mariusz Pudzianowski and Zydrunas Savickas.
Derek successfully defended his title at the 200 Arnold Strongman Classic. Leading up to the last event, the timber carry, Derek had a 3 point lead over 6 time champion Zydrunas Savickas. Derek won the last event and the overall title for a second consecutive time, only the second man to accomplish this feat at the Arnold Strongman Classic. Zydrunas Savickas came in second and Travis Ortmayer came in third place. During the awards ceremony, Derek proposed to his girlfriend on stage and she happily accepted.
Derek defended his title at the 200 Mohegan Sun Strongman Championships hosted by Giants Live, winning 3 out of 6 events including the shield carry. This was Derek's third consecutive victory at this contest. Brian Shaw came in second and Stojan Todorchev came in third place. Shortly before the 200 World's Strongest Man contest, Derek severely tore his quad muscle and was unsure if he would be able to compete, but he decided to heal and focus on upper body training. Derek was able to qualify for the finals and finished in 9th place overall.
Less than 24 hours after the 200 WSM contest, Derek won his 3rd America's Strongest Man title.
Derek is the host of a radio show titled "Poundstone Power Radio" which airs every Wednesday from 6-8pm Eastern time, on SIRIUS channel 94, XM channel 208, and on Sirius_XM_Radio internet radio channel 860. The first episode aired on November 3, 2010.
Derek married fiancee Kristin Nelson on Saturday June 25, 2011 in Branford, Connecticut’s Trinity Episcopal Church. Derek's training partner Louis-Philippe Jean was a groomsman at the wedding, and fellow strongman competitors Travis Ortmayer and Nick Best attended the wedding.
|DEREK POUNDSTONE TRAINS AT HIS OWN NEW GYM|
Derek does a "light" workout at his new gym Poundstone Performance Training Center. Something tells me it is a hardcore gym with giant dumbbells. The serious gyms have 250 lb. dumbbells!