We love climbing and truly believe that the best way to live a long, healthy, active life is by moving well and moving often.  We live by the motto: “Movement is Medicine” and what better way to embody that philosophy than climbing!


We change lives by getting our clients stronger, healthier and reduce their incidence of injuries, through science backed mobility training coupled with results driven functional strength training.


Weather you are a dedicated gym climber, training for outdoor projects, just want to climb for fun or are a seasoned competitor, Vertical Performance strength programs will help you achieve whatever goals you have.


Vertical Performance Training was founded by long time climber and functional strength coach David Conlon, CFSC, FRC, CCC and has built VPT on the 4 pillars of peak performance:

Functional Training

Movement Quality

Sport Specific Skills

Lifestyle & Nutrition

Consistent inputs, compounded over time = Tangible, long, lasting results

Utilizing functional strength training as a foundation, Vertical Performance takes a movement based approach to strength training and injury prevention.  We aim to empower, educate and inspire climbers of all levels to train for climbing, life and longevity in their climbing careers. 

Tired of climbing training programs focused too heavily on fingerboard workouts (yawn), and just tell you “…oh just lift some weights on your off-days”. Vertical Performance was created to provide the climbing community high-quality instruction, programming and more importantly, results in your off the wall training.

Utilizing a no-nonsense approach that has been successful for countless athletes across a variety of sports; our programing, exercise selection, and progression/regression system promises to deliver results for any athlete of any experience level.

Functional Training is a bit of a buzzword these days.  But we really subscribe to the original meaning of the term as described by Michael Boyle:


What functional training really comes down to is the application of functional anatomy to training. It is taking what we know, and using that information to select exercises to reduce the incidence of injury and improve performance.


We believe what Grey Cook says, that to be your best you must “move well, and move often”. What this means is that movement quality is prioritized, and that there are very real movement and mobility prerequisites that must be met before you can perform certain exercises.  This all comes down to injury prevention and safe effective training.

Adding strength to dysfunction is a recipe for injury . What we mean is if a  joint that doesn’t have the requisite range of motion, or one doesn’t have the motor control for a specific movement pattern, adding load (weights) to that movement is just setting that athlete up for pain, or worse: injury.

You can’t move where you can’t move.

Dr. Andreo Spina

Too often people are prescribed “mobility” or “corrective” exercises.  But these movements don’t actually increase real mobility of that joint.  If you can’t flex your arm overhead, practicing flexing your arm overhead for 3 sets of 10 is not going to increase your shoulder mobility.  You can’t move your shoulder into a position where you can’t currently move your shoulder(see above quote).

Vertical Performance training utilizes Functional Range Conditioning or FRC to train your tissue and nervous system to safely open up new ranges of motion, and create real strength, neural drive and  control in that newly acquired range

You can learn more about our Mobility Training using the FRC system here

David Conlon was born in Denver Colorado and naturally fell in love with the mountains.  David was always an active kid, but found his athletic stride and passion for exercise later in life.  David but fell in love with rock climbing in as a kid growing up in Denver, Colorado, a pursuit he is passionate about to this day, and found strength training and ultimate frisbee, in his late 20s.  With a bachelors degree in architecture, and a MFA in film and Animation, David has worked on a dozen feature animated films, all while pursuing his passion for strength training on the side.  In 2018, he made it official by becoming a Certified Functional Strength Coach (CFSC), as well as a Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist(FRCms) and has rounded out his certifications with a Certified Conditioning Coach (CCC) certification. He truly believes that movement is medicine and that you can live your best, healthy life through movement and training.

David has bouldered and climbed in Texas, California, Utah, Nevada, and is usually planning his next climbing trip with his wife and twin boys.

Select your program