The Rise of Dan Garner


It was 2016, and UFC champ Michael Bisping had not too long ago posted a photograph of a rooster 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 growing variety of fighters have been saying that Garner’s lab-based diet protocols may pace 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 combined martial artists.

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

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

Positive 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 one in all Garner’s podcasts.

Quickly Dr. Galpin was taking part in 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?” Ultimately Dr. Galpin introduced Garner onto his group at CSUF as an advisor.

At this time Garner’s roster consists of superbowl champs, Olympic medalists, PGA stars, hall-of-famers, the mega rich, and Hollywood celebs, comparable 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 power and diet coach for athletes in 13 completely 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 power coaches for professional athletes, celebs, and the rich?

And what are you able to be taught 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 subsequent stage

▶ how he overcame instructional 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 title dropping. On this enterprise, privateness is necessary to many consumers and, as Garner notes, his job is to serve his purchasers, not the opposite approach round.

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That is Garner’s origin story

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

Lambeth, Ontario’s two greatest sights embrace corn and the hockey enviornment the place Garner discovered 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, in class, 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 unit that made airplane elements. There he labored in a large hangar, surrounded by the scents of chemical compounds in addition to a whole lot of sad coworkers.

As he operated a machine that sliced by metallic, 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 reasonably depressing dude,” he says. “The top of the day couldn’t come quickly sufficient.”

Changing into “Bodybuilding Dan”

His coworkers seen his physique, lit-from-within power stage, and the rooster and avocado he packed for lunch. Quickly they have 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 have been so receptive and grateful. That helped me achieve extra confidence and function.”

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 School, 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 progress, and did further studying to deepen his understanding. Within the evenings, he studied for and earned a number of sports activities diet and power coaching certifications.

He not solely received one of the best 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 recurrently posted content material to social media, in addition to constructed and maintained a hockey coaching web site referred to as hockeytraining.com. For this website, he wrote weekly articles and filmed YouTube movies about diet, mindset, and health.

Again then, simply two individuals 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 Precision Diet Degree 1 and Degree 2 in addition to one from Useful Medication College, which, he says, taught him find out how to use lab work to know people on a mobile stage.

The e-mail he’d been ready for

Over time, Garner’s shopper checklist, on-line following, and revenue grew.

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

He needed to teach 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 title was Scot Prohaska.

In the future, in Garner’s inbox, there was an surprising e mail.

Prohaska wrote: “Hey man, would you be taken with 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 sport 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, skilled 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.

What Garner learns from poop (sure, poop)

If you happen to discuss to Garner, his purchasers, or the specialists who refer individuals to him, you’ll ultimately hear tales.

Individual A suffered from a continual drawback that different professionals hadn’t been capable of resolve.

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

Upon Garner’s request, Individual 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 Individual 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 seen elevations within the stress hormone cortisol, bilirubin (a waste product), and magnesium and questioned how these associated to the dips within the hormone melatonin and elastase-1 (a pancreatic enzyme) he was additionally seeing. After hours of plotting, considering, and scribbling, all the pieces got here into focus..

Individual A then obtained an intensive report coupled with an hour-long video from Garner that defined what was happening and why a selected protocol—a combination of dietary supplements and customized diet—would assist.

Individual 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 practical medication, a comparatively new area that has attracted its share of critics.

Began within the early Nineties by Jeffrey Bland, PhD, practical medication emphasizes customized 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 Heart for Useful Medication, and launched a handful of research to check the tactic’s effectiveness.

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

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

And but, one wonders:

If practical 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 practical medication can poke at Garner’s imposter syndrome. It additionally stirs up remorse over not incomes a PhD.

That mentioned, he sees practical medication as no completely 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 docs as soon as swore by bloodletting.)

Garner provides the analogy of an owl, which is able to swallow a complete animal complete. A number of hours later, the owl regurgitates the bones and different substances that it will possibly’t digest.

“That’s the best way 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 dangerous.”

A self-taught knowledgeable

Whether or not you purchase into the practical medication method or not, it’s arduous 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 be taught, Garner spends as much as two hours a day studying medical analysis. That each day homework permits him to rattle off research references and describe complicated organic processes with enviable ease.

If you happen to hearken to him reply reside 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.”

Screenshot of a series of comments. They read: “Awesome episode. Coach Garner always shares great information.” “Mind blown! Dan is a walking encyclopedia!” “Dan Garner, man, epid addition to the podcast!! Thank you for getting him on!!” “Dan is the Man. Glad y’all teamed up with him. Next level shit!”

Feedback from a podcast the place Garner was a visitor.

“Simply from listening to him, you’ll be able to inform he is aware of what he’s speaking about,” says Knierim, who not too long ago posted a collection of images to Instagram to indicate how his physique remodeled with Garner’s steering.

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

Along with his each day immersion into the Nationwide Library of Medication, Garner additionally leans into what he’s discovered 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.

Why athletes belief him

There’s one thing about Garner that makes individuals suppose, “I need 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 straightforward 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 harm.

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 finding out 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, presently ranked #4 within the UFC’s flyweight division, additionally seen a dramatic change in power, 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 prepare more durable. My temper was higher. I may sleep higher. Whenever you’re attempting to achieve a share of enchancment, issues like which can be huge offers.”

Introducing the Principle of Constraint

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

That mentioned, there’s lots you’ll be able to nonetheless be taught from Garner.

To pinpoint issues and nil in on options, Garner makes use of one thing referred to 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 provides 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 strategy to improve manufacturing output or productiveness.

“I have a look at physiology by this lens,” says Garner. “That’s how I’ve made a reputation for myself. It’s not a precise macro depend that I’m utilizing. It’s not a precise calorie depend 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 response to Garner, that weak hyperlink is a stressor—comparable to a meals sensitivity or a light deficiency—that’s taxing the immune system, making it more durable 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 lots 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 desires 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 preliminary evaluation that asks purchasers about their life-style, well being limitations, mindset, and bodily perform and capability.

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

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

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

Now you’ve received a path to research.

Greetings matter

If you happen to get caught, Garner suggests altering the way you greet purchasers firstly of your periods.

If you happen to ask, “How are you?” your purchasers will most definitely reply, “okay” or “fantastic”—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 typically leads proper to the constraint.”

When the cat will get in the best way

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 provides the story of a fatigued shopper who, Garner seen from an consumption questionnaire, was sleeping in the identical mattress along with his cat.

After getting the cat to sleep some place else, the shopper’s sleep improved, leading to extra power for train and meal prep.

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

You could marvel: How have you learnt if you happen to’ve zeroed in on the true limitation?

Garner suggests utilizing power as a gauge. “In case your physiology is responding nicely to this system, your power goes to go up,” says Garner. “That’s how you recognize you’re heading in the right direction.”

You received’t all the time get it proper

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

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

“I’m not proper 100% of the time, however I’m all the time studying,” he says.

Right here’s the factor: Even if you happen to’re improper a couple of shopper’s final drawback, they’ll possible 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 power, 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 individuals come to me seeking. That’s the place I personally wish to be—and that’s what I do. I take them from good to nice.”


If you happen to’re a coach, otherwise you wish to be…

You possibly can assist individuals 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 ways.

If you happen to’d prefer to be taught extra, contemplate the PN Degree 1 Diet Teaching Certification.



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