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The Rise of Dan Garner

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It was 2016, and UFC champ Michael Bisping had not too long ago 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 growing variety of fighters have been saying that Garner’s lab-based vitamin protocols might velocity restoration, unlock energy, and assist them win.

Not everybody was impressed.

‘Most likely 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 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 received’t let you know about.”

To substantiate 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 taking part in The Garner Report for college students within the graduate degree 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 crew at CSUF as an advisor.

Right this moment 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 energy and vitamin 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 vitamin 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 shoppers

▶ the precept he makes use of to catapult athletes to the subsequent degree

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

However first, a caveat:

Although you’ll hear from a couple of shoppers who agreed to speak about their experiences with Garner, don’t count on plenty of title dropping. On this enterprise, privateness is essential to many consumers and, as Garner notes, his job is to serve his shoppers, 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 largest sights embody corn and the hockey area 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, 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 compounds in addition to tons of of sad coworkers.

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

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

Turning into “Bodybuilding Dan”

His coworkers observed his physique, lit-from-within vitality degree, and the hen 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 grew to become 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 acquire extra confidence and goal.”

When the machine store laid off half its workforce, Garner received the prospect 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 vitamin and energy coaching certifications.

He not solely received the most effective grades of his life, he additionally grew to become 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 publish commencement: private coaching at a Gold’s Fitness center.

To draw shoppers, Garner commonly posted content material to social media, in addition to constructed and maintained a hockey coaching web site known as hockeytraining.com. For this website, he wrote weekly articles and filmed YouTube movies about vitamin, 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 Practical Medication College, which, he says, taught him methods to use lab work to know people on a mobile degree.

The e-mail he’d been ready for

Over time, Garner’s consumer record, on-line following, and earnings 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 professionals— 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.

In fact he was !

From one professional athlete to dozens

By hockey requirements, at 15 p.c physique fats, the goalie was a hefty man. But after 12 months with Garner, the goalie’s physique fats was down to eight p.c 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 through 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 shoppers. Individuals pay hundreds for a session.

What Garner learns from poop (sure, poop)

If you happen to speak to Garner, his shoppers, or the consultants who refer individuals to him, you’ll ultimately hear tales.

Particular person A suffered from a persistent downside that different professionals hadn’t been capable of clear up.

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 data right into a software program program.

Then, for hours, he’d stare at color-coded charts and graphs displaying Particular person A’s sleep, food regimen, 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 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, pondering, and scribbling, all the pieces got here into focus..

Particular person A then obtained an in depth 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 customized vitamin—would assist.

Particular person A adopted Garner’s recommendation. Their downside 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 consumer. 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 purposeful medication, a comparatively new discipline that has attracted its share of critics.

Began within the early Nineties by Jeffrey Bland, PhD, purposeful medication emphasizes customized dietary and way of life adjustments that focus 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 Practical 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 remedies and misdiagnosing their sufferers.

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

And but, one wonders:

If purposeful medication’s lab-based strategy helps shoppers really feel higher—and doesn’t hurt them—does the criticism actually matter?

Be just like the owl

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

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

In any given discipline, 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 can swallow a whole animal entire. A number of hours later, the owl regurgitates the bones and different substances that it could 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, hold the nice, and take away the unhealthy.”

A self-taught skilled

Whether or not you purchase into the purposeful medication strategy 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 fully 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.

If you happen to hearken to him reply stay 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 sequence of photographs to Instagram to indicate how his physique reworked with Garner’s steerage.

“He’s legit. He’s seen and finished 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 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 consumer 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.

In fact, 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 might’ve felt higher,” O’Malley says.

He’d by no means undergone lab evaluation earlier than—and hoped Garner might 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 might 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 observed a dramatic change in vitality, sleep, and restoration after working with Garner.

“Fortunate” Lauren Murphy

“I might maintain the next tempo for an extended period of time and I used to be much less sore afterwards,” she says. “I might prepare more durable. My temper was higher. I might sleep higher. Whenever you’re making an attempt to realize a share of enchancment, issues like which are huge offers.”

Introducing the Idea of Constraint

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

That mentioned, there’s so much you’ll be able to nonetheless study from Garner.

To pinpoint issues and 0 in on options, Garner makes use of one thing known as the idea of constraint.

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

Each course of is proscribed 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 option 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

Usually, in keeping with Garner, that weak hyperlink is a stressor—comparable to a meals sensitivity or a gentle deficiency—that’s taxing the immune system, making it more durable for somebody to recuperate. Blood work and different labs enable Garner to search out these weak organic hyperlinks with precision, however common people can do one thing comparable, albeit so much much less excessive tech: Search for limiting components.

Ask your self: What’s working in opposition to you (or your consumer)? What weak hyperlinks are stopping you or your consumer from transferring 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 downside? In different phrases, what’s the foundation explanation for “too drained”?

To seek out the reply, you’ll wish to begin with a very good preliminary evaluation that asks shoppers about their way of life, well being limitations, mindset, and bodily perform and capability.

Perhaps, within the consumption, you discover that your consumer is a vegetarian who’s been recognized with a GI problem.

Nice, now you’ll wish to dig into that, performing some analysis to higher perceive how each components may have an effect on your consumer’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 consumer 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

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

If you happen to ask, “How are you?” your shoppers will almost definitely reply, “okay” or “high quality”—even when they really feel fairly crummy.

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

The open-ended query nudges shoppers 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 circumstances, the limiting issue has to do with not sleeping, not recovering, or not managing stress.

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

After getting the cat to sleep some place else, the consumer’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 straightforward,” says Garner.

You could surprise: How have you learnt when you’ve zeroed in on the true limitation?

Garner suggests utilizing vitality as a gauge. “In case your physiology is responding nicely to this system, your vitality goes to go up,” says Garner. “That’s how you realize 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 one hundred pc of the time, however I’m all the time studying,” he says.

Right here’s the factor: Even when you’re mistaken a couple of consumer’s final downside, they’ll possible nonetheless make progress. That’s as a result of most individuals profit from the identical repertoire of behavioral adjustments: 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 objectives. They’re, as he places it, “vibrating at a distinct depth.”

“That’s what individuals come to me looking for. 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’ll be able to assist individuals construct vitamin and way of life 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.

If you happen to’d prefer to study extra, take into account the PN Degree 1 Diet Teaching Certification.



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