The Rise of Dan Garner

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The Rise of Dan Garner


It was 2016, and UFC champ Michael Bisping had just lately posted a photograph of a hen burrito to his Instagram, together with the caption:

“…by order of my nutritionist Dan Garner….”

This was simply the most recent shoutout from the world of MMA, the place an rising variety of fighters had been saying that Garner’s lab-based diet protocols may velocity restoration, unlock energy, and assist them win.

Not everybody was impressed.

‘In all probability one other man who doesn’t know what he’s doing,’ thought Andy Galpin, PhD, professor of kinesiology at Cal State Fullerton and sport efficiency coach recognized for his work with boxers and blended martial artists.

A skeptical individual by nature, Dr. Galpin figured Garner was a pseudo skilled who cherry picked findings from tiny, poorly-designed research and offered them to athletes as “ground-breaking efficiency enhancers your physician gained’t inform you about.”

To verify his hunch, he checked out Garner’s bio.

Certain sufficient, there was no point out of a PhD, MD, or perhaps a grasp’s diploma.

‘Yup,’ Dr. Galpin concluded, ‘wackadoodle.’

Issues modified when Dr. Galpin listened to considered one of Garner’s podcasts.

Quickly Dr. Galpin was enjoying The Garner Report for college students within the graduate stage programs he taught at Cal State Fullerton. Then he was messaging Garner, “Dude, why aren’t we working collectively?” Finally Dr. Galpin introduced Garner onto his workforce at CSUF as an advisor.

At present Garner’s roster contains superbowl champs, Olympic medalists, PGA stars, hall-of-famers, the mega rich, and Hollywood celebs, similar to actor and comic Bryan Callen, who credit Garner with curing his psoriasis.

Photograph of nutrition coach Dan Garner sitting at a desk in front of a laptop computer.

Dan Garner is a energy and diet coach for athletes in 13 totally different sports activities, together with superbowl champs, Olympic medalists, PGA stars, hall-of-famers, and Hollywood celebs.

So how did a man with no superior levels earn recognition as one of many go-to diet and energy coaches for professional athletes, celebs, and the rich?

And what are you able to study from him?

On this story, you’ll uncover…

▶ how Garner leveraged social media to draw high-profile purchasers

▶ the precept he makes use of to catapult athletes to the following stage

▶ how he overcame academic gaps (and how one can, too, particularly if you happen to lack superior levels)

However first, a caveat:

Although you’ll hear from a couple of purchasers who agreed to speak about their experiences with Garner, don’t count on numerous identify dropping. On this enterprise, privateness is essential to many purchasers and, as Garner notes, his job is to serve his purchasers, not the opposite means round.

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That is Garner’s origin story

The typical cruise ship hosts extra folks than Dan Garner’s hometown.

Lambeth, Ontario’s two greatest sights embrace corn and the hockey enviornment the place Garner realized to skate and, ultimately, compete.

He found bodybuilding at age 14 when his father lugged residence a dinky weight lifting set and assembled it within the storage. Although he poured his consideration into health websites and magazines, at school, he did the naked minimal, incomes 50s and 60s—simply sufficient to move.

“I had no thought what I needed in life,” Garner says. “I used to be misplaced.”

Upon commencement, Garner landed a job as a machinist at a manufacturing facility that made airplane elements. There he labored in an enormous hangar, surrounded by the scents of chemical substances in addition to a whole lot of sad coworkers.

As he operated a machine that sliced by way of steel, Garner secretly learn health and diet articles, periodically glancing on the reflections in a chunk of damaged glass to see if his supervisor was arising from behind.

“I used to be a fairly depressing dude,” he says. “The tip of the day couldn’t come quickly sufficient.”

Changing into “Bodybuilding Dan”

His coworkers observed his physique, lit-from-within vitality stage, and the hen and avocado he packed for lunch. Quickly they had been asking questions.

“What ought to I eat for breakfast?”

“What ought to I eat after a exercise?”

“How do I lose fats?”

Garner turned the machine store’s unofficial private coach.

“Being valued… that was new for me,” says Garner. “They had been so receptive and grateful. That helped me acquire extra confidence and goal.”

When the machine store laid off half its workforce, Garner received the possibility to construct a profession he loved.

In 2010, he received accepted to Mohawk Faculty, roughly an hour’s drive away.

Throughout his commute, he listened to well being and health lectures he’d burned onto CDs. After class he visited his professors to speak about muscle development, and did further studying to deepen his understanding. Within the evenings, he studied for and earned a number of sports activities diet and energy coaching certifications.

He not solely received the most effective grades of his life, he additionally turned a sought-after mentor for different college students, who referred to him as, “Bodybuilding Dan.”

He graduated with a bachelor’s diploma in well being, wellness, and health.

His first job put up commencement: private coaching at a Gold’s Health club.

To draw purchasers, Garner often posted content material to social media, in addition to constructed and maintained a hockey coaching web site known as hockeytraining.com. For this web site, he wrote weekly articles and filmed YouTube movies about diet, mindset, and health.

Again then, simply two folks hit the “like” button: His mother and his spouse.

“It was a grind,” he says.

Because the months handed, Garner collected greater than 20 certifications, together with each Precision Diet Stage 1 Diet Coach and Stage 2 Well being Coach in addition to one from Purposeful Medication College, which, he says, taught him tips on how to use lab work to grasp people on a mobile stage.

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The e-mail he’d been ready for

Over time, Garner’s shopper listing, on-line following, and earnings grew.

Nonetheless, after a number of years, one thing was lacking.

He needed to educate professional athletes.

What Garner didn’t know: a efficiency coach for dozens of execs— together with members of the NHL, NFL, UFC, and CFL—was studying his content material.

His identify was Scot Prohaska.

Someday, in Garner’s inbox, there was an surprising e-mail.

Prohaska wrote: “Hey man, would you be involved in working with a goalie for the Anaheim Geese?”

Garner sat again in his chair, his palms in opposition to his cranium.

After all he was !

From one professional athlete to dozens

By hockey requirements, at 15 % physique fats, the goalie was a hefty man. But after 12 months with Garner, the goalie’s physique fats was down to eight % and his recreation had dramatically improved—a lot in order that the Toronto Maple Leafs supplied the goalie a $25 million contract over 5 years.

Quickly after, Prohaska invited Garner to fly to California to assist coach NFL and NHL athletes throughout the 2015 low season. The referrals got here in from throughout after that.

It’s been seven years since Garner broke into the professionals.

He’s traveled the world, educated dozens of elite athletes, and taught seminars.

He now works from a house workplace in London, Ontario.

He solely takes on a small variety of purchasers. Individuals pay hundreds for a session.

Earlier than Studying On, Know This

You’re about to learn the way Garner makes use of lab work to uncover hidden stressors. Consequently, you may surprise: “If Garner makes use of lab work and PN is that includes Garner, is it okay for me to make use of lab work, too?”

Not until you will have further coaching or credentials that provide the abilities and authorized talents to take action. A diet teaching certification alone shouldn’t be sufficient.

(BTW, as we talked about within the story, along with his diet teaching certification, Garner has earned many others, together with one in useful medication. It’s this certification in useful medication that, he says, provides him the experience to order and perceive lab work.)

For those who’re ever not sure about scope of observe, we encourage you to use this worksheet in addition to assessment our code of ethics.

What Garner learns from poop (sure, poop)

For those who speak to Garner, his purchasers, or the specialists who refer folks to him, you’ll ultimately hear tales.

Particular person A suffered from a persistent drawback that different professionals hadn’t been capable of remedy.

Garner was their Hail Mary. Their final shot. Their “I don’t know what else to do.”

Upon Garner’s request, Particular person A tracked their meals consumption, stuffed out a number of questionnaires, and trotted off to their closest lab to deposit the requisite quantity of blood, hair, urine, and stool.

Garner loaded the lab outcomes and different information right into a software program program.

Then, for hours, he’d stare at color-coded charts and graphs displaying Particular person A’s sleep, weight loss plan, physique comp, hydration standing, micronutrient standing, emotional stressors, inflammatory markers, intestine micro organism ranges, and hormonal profile, amongst many different variables.

He observed elevations within the stress hormone cortisol, bilirubin (a waste product), and magnesium and puzzled how these associated to the dips within the hormone melatonin and elastase-1 (a pancreatic enzyme) he was additionally seeing. After hours of plotting, pondering, and scribbling, all the pieces got here into focus..

Particular person A then acquired an intensive report coupled with an hour-long video from Garner that defined what was happening and why a selected protocol—a mix of dietary supplements and personalised diet—would assist.

Particular person A adopted Garner’s recommendation. Their drawback cleared up.

Graphical depiction that shows color-coded bars for visible and hidden stressors. Visible stressors include sleep, diet, hydration, body composition, physical, emotional, psychological, and X-factor. HIdden stressors include gut health, micronutrient status, immune function, inflammation, cellular health, hormone profile, toxic load, C02 tolerance, and X-factor.

Sections from a report that Garner created for one shopper. BTW: “X-Issue” is a catch-all for seen or hidden stressors that don’t match into the opposite classes.

What the doubters are saying

These Hail Mary tales can sound like fodder for made-for-TV guru land.

That’s partly as a result of the emphasis on lab testing is rooted in useful medication, a comparatively new area that has attracted its share of critics.

Began within the early Nineteen Nineties by Jeffrey Bland, PhD, useful medication emphasizes personalised dietary and life-style modifications that concentrate on “the foundation trigger” of somebody’s well being points.

A number of years in the past, the Cleveland Clinic elevated the sphere when it opened a Middle for Purposeful Medication, and launched a handful of research to check the strategy’s effectiveness.

Nonetheless, the career’s picture has been marred by a number of physicians who misplaced their medical licenses for prescribing dubius remedies and misdiagnosing their sufferers.

On high of that, business watchdogs have closely criticized useful medication practitioners for prescribing “reams of ineffective assessments.” The phrase “quackery” will get tossed round, too.

And but, one wonders:

If useful medication’s lab-based method helps purchasers really feel higher—and doesn’t hurt them—does the criticism actually matter?

Be just like the owl

The skepticism about useful medication can poke at Garner’s imposter syndrome. It additionally stirs up remorse over not incomes a PhD.

That mentioned, he sees useful medication as no totally different from different professions.

In any given area, he says, you’ll discover superstars and quacks, pearls of knowledge and slices of baloney.

(Instance: Conventional medication medical doctors as soon as swore by bloodletting.)

Garner gives the analogy of an owl, which is able to swallow a whole animal entire. A number of hours later, the owl regurgitates the bones and different substances that it might’t digest.

“That’s the way in which I’ve approached my profession,” Garner says. “Each skilled sector has one thing to say. It’s as much as me to curate it, preserve the nice, and take away the unhealthy.”

A self-taught skilled

Whether or not you purchase into the useful medication method or not, it’s onerous to argue with Garner’s grasp of physiology.

That’s what attracted Dr. Galpin to Garner within the first place.

“He’s utterly obsessive about the sphere and virtually nothing else—far more than I’m,” Dr. Galpin says. “His grasp of the analysis literature and high-detail physiology, regardless of him having no superior levels, would problem lots of people with doctorates.”

Pushed by a relentless curiosity to study, Garner spends as much as two hours a day studying medical analysis. That day by day homework permits him to rattle off examine references and describe complicated organic processes with enviable ease.

For those who hearken to him reply dwell viewers questions, you’ll perceive why one YouTube commenter referred to Garner as “a strolling encyclopedia”—in addition to why Olympic bronze medalist Chris Knierim describes him as “hella sensible.”

“Simply from listening to him, you possibly can inform he is aware of what he’s speaking about,” says Knierim, who just lately posted a sequence of pictures to Instagram to indicate how his physique remodeled with Garner’s steering.

“He’s legit. He’s seen and carried out what he’s speaking about,” Knierim says. “He’s not simply regurgitating stuff another person mentioned.”

Along with his day by day immersion into the Nationwide Library of Medication, Garner additionally leans into what he’s realized from the questionnaires, meals logs, and the greater than 1,000 labs he’s analyzed.

“I deal with proof from expertise with equal worth as I do from Pubmed,” says Garner. “I’ve received metrics of every shopper over time, so I can see what labored and what didn’t,” he says. (Get our information on tips on how to learn scientific research.)

How to read scientific studies: A free guide.

Why athletes belief him

There’s one thing about Garner that makes folks suppose, “I would like what he’s having.”

Like many trainers and coaches, he’s match.

However what actually units him aside: His gusto.

It’s virtually as if the easy act of being awake fills him with pleasure.

This high-energy vibe is partly what helps athletes put their belief in him—as a result of he clearly takes his personal recommendation.

After all, referrals from different athletes in addition to shout-outs on the Joe Rogan Expertise don’t damage.

MMA fighter “Sugar” Sean O’Malley sought Garner’s experience in 2019, after listening to Bryan Callen telling Rogan that Garner helped clear up his psoriasis.

At the moment, “I knew I may’ve felt higher,” O’Malley says.

He’d by no means undergone lab evaluation earlier than—and hoped Garner may give him an edge.

After learning O’Malley’s lab outcomes, Garner designed a meal plan tailor-made to O’Malley’s distinctive wants, together with a complement protocol for intestine well being and stress restoration.

Inside two weeks, O’Malley messaged Garner: “I really feel like a machine!”

“I may kill a exercise and my physique recovered a lot quicker,” O’Malley says.

O’Malley went on to win his subsequent UFC match by knocking out his opponent within the first spherical. He’s labored with Garner ever since.

Lauren Murphy, at present ranked #4 within the UFC’s flyweight division, additionally observed a dramatic change in vitality, sleep, and restoration after working with Garner.

“Fortunate” Lauren Murphy

“I may maintain a better tempo for an extended period of time and I used to be much less sore afterwards,” she says. “I may practice tougher. My temper was higher. I may sleep higher. While you’re making an attempt to achieve a proportion of enchancment, issues like which are large offers.”

Introducing the Idea of Constraint

A diet or well being teaching certification doesn’t provide the {qualifications} to order and analyze lab work. Except you’ve undergone further coaching, creating meal plans to deal with a situation can be out of scope.

That mentioned, there’s quite a bit you possibly can nonetheless study from Garner.

To pinpoint issues and nil in on options, Garner makes use of one thing known as the speculation of constraint.

Developed by Israeli physicist Eliyahu Goldratt, it goes like this:

Each course of is restricted by a constraint, typically additionally known as a bottleneck or weakest hyperlink.

Eradicating the constraint gives the best and quickest path ahead.

Graphical depiction of a bottleneck. The graphic shows a tube with a narrower section in the middle of it. An arrow points to the narrower section with the text: "An improvement here yields the biggest result."

The speculation is usually utilized in enterprise settings, as a approach to improve manufacturing output or productiveness.

“I have a look at physiology by way of this lens,” says Garner. “That’s how I’ve made a reputation for myself. It’s not a precise macro rely that I’m utilizing. It’s not a precise calorie rely or hydration or complement protocol. Sure, I’ve these issues in place. However none of my athletes can attain their potential with out eradicating their weakest hyperlink.”

The issue behind the issue

Typically, in line with Garner, that weak hyperlink is a stressor—similar to a meals sensitivity or a light deficiency—that’s taxing the immune system, making it tougher for somebody to get well. Blood work and different labs permit Garner to search out these weak organic hyperlinks with precision, however common of us can do one thing comparable, albeit quite a bit much less excessive tech: Search for limiting components.

Ask your self: What’s working in opposition to you (or your shopper)? What weak hyperlinks are stopping you or your shopper from shifting ahead?

Let’s say you’re working with somebody who needs to train, however feels too drained to do it.

What’s the issue behind that drawback? In different phrases, what’s the foundation reason behind “too drained”?

To seek out the reply, you’ll wish to begin with a superb preliminary evaluation that asks purchasers about their life-style, well being limitations, mindset, and bodily operate and capability. (Get the consumption type we use with purchasers right here at PN.)

Get a free client intake form.

Possibly, within the consumption, you discover that your shopper is a vegetarian who’s been recognized with a GI challenge.

Nice, now you’ll wish to dig into that, performing some analysis to higher perceive how each components may have an effect on your shopper’s well being. Maybe you uncover that their GI situation may intrude with nutrient absorption, particularly of B nutritional vitamins. There’s a clue.

And perhaps, throughout your conversations, you glean that relationship issues are protecting your shopper up at evening. May lack of sleep be siphoning off the vitality wanted for exercises? And inflicting them to eat extra?

Now you’ve received a path to analyze.

Greetings matter

For those who get caught, Garner suggests altering the way you greet purchasers initially of your classes.

For those who ask, “How are you?” your purchasers will probably reply, “okay” or “superb”—even when they really feel fairly crummy.

As a substitute, Garner begins conversations with this query: “Hey, what’s the story?”

The open-ended query nudges purchasers to supply what’s actually on their thoughts. Says Garner, “Their reply to that query usually leads proper to the constraint.”

When the cat will get in the way in which

In lots of instances, the limiting issue has to do with not sleeping, not recovering, or not managing stress.

“Typically the issue is true in your face,” says Garner, who gives the story of a fatigued shopper who, Garner observed from an consumption questionnaire, was sleeping in the identical mattress along with his cat.

After getting the cat to sleep elsewhere, the shopper’s sleep improved, leading to extra vitality for train and meal prep.

“All I did was take away a cat. Typically it’s actually that easy,” says Garner.

It’s possible you’ll surprise: How are you aware if you happen to’ve zeroed in on the true limitation?

Garner suggests utilizing vitality as a gauge. “In case your physiology is responding effectively to this system, your vitality goes to go up,” says Garner. “That’s how you recognize you’re heading in the right direction.” (Get our worksheet to assist establish your (or your shopper’s) liming components.)

Use this worksheet to identify limiting factors.

You gained’t at all times get it proper

Even with all the pieces he’s realized, Garner admits he makes errors.

That’s as a result of human biology is the other of easy.

“I’m not proper one hundred pc of the time, however I’m at all times studying,” he says.

Right here’s the factor: Even if you happen to’re fallacious a couple of shopper’s final drawback, they’ll probably nonetheless make progress. That’s as a result of most individuals profit from the identical repertoire of behavioral modifications: extra veggies, protein, stress administration, and sleep.

“If I don’t nail it, I’ll nonetheless get you from a two to a 5,” he says.

“But when I nail it I’ll get you from a two to a ten.”

For Garner, a ten means somebody has excessive vitality, a wholesome intercourse drive, and the wherewithall to pour their consideration and energy into reaching their targets. They’re, as he places it, “vibrating at a unique depth.”

“That’s what folks come to me in quest of. That’s the place I personally wish to be—and that’s what I do. I take them from good to nice.”


For those who’re a coach, otherwise you wish to be…

You’ll be able to assist folks construct diet and life-style habits that enhance their bodily and psychological well being, bolster their immunity, assist them higher handle stress, and get sustainable outcomes. We’ll present you the way.

For those who’d wish to study extra, think about the PN Stage 1 Diet Teaching Certification.

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