Kim Derks added another important piece to the puzzle.

At the 2019 Arnold Sports Festival, she placed second at middleweight, and earned her Strongman Corporation Pro Card.

“I was able to achieve personal bests on a few events, build new connections within the sport, and be a part of a highly recognized competition,” Derks said. “My training cycle for this competition was not as consistent as I would have liked, but that’s life. I did what I could when I was able to and I pushed hard to be ready. I felt confident on most of the events going into it and I knew it was going to come down to conditioning and speed, which are two things I continue to work on as a strongwoman athlete.”

Derks called the competition at the Arnold intense and a great battle and is proud of what she has been able to accomplish in this sport, but is always wanting more.

“Confidence is always a work in progress for me,” she said. “I strive to build a legacy for myself. I constantly wonder what my body is capable of achieving. I continuously set bigger goals for myself after one has been accomplished and honestly, I don’t know that any particular accomplishment will satisfy me 100-percent.”

The 30-years-old-Appleton, Wisc., resident trains at home in her garage gym for all of her specialty training and at a local fitness center where it’s more bodybuilder-style training.

A former full-time high school teacher, Derks is now a substitute teacher for a few different school districts. The flexibility substitute teaching offers is ideal for her situation. She met her husband, Adam, through Strongman and she credits him for having a huge influence on her success as a Strongwoman athlete over the last few years. Both are big dog lovers and own their own online programming business, Derks Strong (Instagram @derks.strong).

“We do customized training plans, competition prep, and nutrition for a variety of health, fitness, and athletic goals,” Kim said. “Coaching our clients and building life-long friendships with many has been so rewarding. As a teacher, trainer, coach, and athlete my greatest joy is having the ability to make a positive impact on others. I enjoy teaching people things that they can utilize to better themselves physically and mentally.”

In high school, Derks played soccer, swam, and competed in track and field. Her lifting began in high school with an advanced PE class for athletes, but it did not become serious about it until the end of college and beyond.

She competed at the National level in 2012 and 2013, winning both times and at the first-ever Arnold Strongwoman Fitness World Championships. She felt she had made it as far as there was possible at the time and was ready for a new challenge. That is when she dove into women’s physique competition. went on to compete in three IFBB Pro shows between 2014 and 2015. But she then ventured back to Strongwoman, which she calls her true passion. In 2017, she won World’s Strongest Woman in the 82kg class at the Official Strongman Games. In 2018 she won USS Nationals and USS Pro Women’s Worlds.

As far as the rest of the year, aside from competing later in the year, the goal is to pull a big deadlift, something she is well familiar with having pulled 515 for a world record, and to better her 245-pound log press.

– By Brett Auten