The Upward Human Performance Story

Get Started
Derek Ward owner of Upward Human Performance
Our founder

Derek Ward

As a former collegiate, three-time champion football player, Fortune 250 Commercial Real Estate analyst, 1st generation college student, and overcomer of adversity, my journey in life has been far from linear. Through excruciating life experiences, growth, challenge, training, and bettering myself physically and mentally, one thing has always stayed true to my heart, finding purpose, and leading with passion to achieve fulfillment in life. This is what has driven me to create not a “gym” but a life changing environment that we call Upward Human Performance. If it weren’t for coaches and mentors in my life to guide, direct, and lead me along in this life, I do not know where I would be. And Upward is my chance to not just give back, but help others achieve all of their potential in life. I founded Upward on the foundation to help people reach their God given potential. I believe every person has a maximum potential they can reach, fulfillment they can have, and a purpose for their life. I want to support, encourage, motivate, and push those people to see their potential through and bear fruit in the process. My why is because I believe my purpose in life is to see others find theirs.

Our coaches

Denzel Robinson coach at Upward Human Performance

Denzel Robinson

Success Manager / Coach

“I was born and raised in Connecticut playing sports at the varsity level in soccer and track at Staples High School. Afterwards I went on to receive my Bachelor of Arts at the University of Rhode Island. While in college since I wasn’t playing sports, I had to find a new outlet to stay active, which led me to the weight room. Just like anyone starting out I wasn’t exactly sure of what to do in the gym, but through consistency and discipline, I got more comfortable training and with nutrition. I noticed gaining more muscle mass from working out, which increased my confidence in all areas of life. The gym has acted as a tool for me to shape good habits, great values, and a strong work ethic. MY WHY, is to help others implement physical activity into their daily routine and help them achieve mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, and relational health in order to reach their fullest potential. If you’re looking to start making more positive changes in your life, I look forward to working with you!!

Brett Hart

Head Coach

I was born and raised in Milford, CT with a strong background in Rocky films and baseball. I was a competitive baseball player turned competitive powerlifter where I competed in the 90kg division. I graduated from Springfield College with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and for my last senior semester finished a 600hr+ internship at Cressey Sports Performance in Hudson, MA. My background in coaching is rooted in wanting the best for anyone that walks through the door and to provide the best experience possible no matter the time of day. Strength training has always been and always will be a part of my life and I try to bring that with me to every session I’m in. When people ask WHY I coach I always go back to Stoicism and refer to this quote by Marcus Aurelius, “Not to assume it’s impossible because you find it hard. But to recognize that if it’s humanly possible, you can do it too.” I look forward to working with anyone who will invest in themselves to become the best they possibly can be and will go above and beyond to help anyone achieve whatever goals they set out for themselves.

Get started

Click the button below to book an intro. See if Upward Human Performance is right for you.
Get Started