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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 newest shoutout from the world of MMA, the place an rising variety of fighters had been saying that Garner’s lab-based vitamin protocols may pace 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 identified for his work with boxers and blended martial artists.

A skeptical individual by nature, Dr. Galpin figured Garner was a pseudo professional who cherry picked findings from tiny, poorly-designed research and introduced 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 one in every of Garner’s podcasts.

Quickly Dr. Galpin was enjoying The Garner Report for college kids within the graduate degree 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 crew at CSUF as an advisor.

In the present day Garner’s roster consists of superbowl champs, Olympic medalists, PGA stars, hall-of-famers, the mega rich, and Hollywood celebs, equivalent 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 following degree

▶ 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 number of shoppers who agreed to speak about their experiences with Garner, don’t anticipate a number of identify dropping. On this enterprise, privateness is necessary to many consumers and, as Garner notes, his job is to serve his shoppers, not the opposite manner round.

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That is Garner’s origin story

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

Lambeth, Ontario’s two largest points of interest embrace corn and the hockey area the place Garner realized to skate and, finally, compete.

He found bodybuilding at age 14 when his father lugged house 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 cross.

“I had no concept 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 bunch of sad coworkers.

As he operated a machine that sliced by means of steel, Garner secretly learn health and vitamin 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 power degree, and the rooster 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 grew to become 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 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 development, 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 very best 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 frequently posted content material to social media, in addition to constructed and maintained a hockey coaching web site referred to as hockeytraining.com. For this web site, 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 each Precision Vitamin Stage 1 Vitamin Coach and Stage 2 Well being Coach in addition to one from Purposeful Drugs College, which, he says, taught him use lab work to grasp people on a mobile degree.

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The e-mail he’d been ready for

Over time, Garner’s consumer listing, on-line following, and revenue 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 professionals— together with members of the NHL, NFL, UFC, and CFL—was studying his content material.

His identify was Scot Prohaska.

At some point, in Garner’s inbox, there was an surprising e mail.

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

Garner sat again in his chair, his palms towards 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 recreation had dramatically improved—a lot in order that the Toronto Maple Leafs provided 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 in the course of 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. Folks pay 1000’s 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. Because of this, you would possibly marvel: “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 except you have got further coaching or credentials that provide the abilities and authorized talents to take action. A vitamin teaching certification alone isn’t sufficient.

(BTW, as we talked about within the story, along with his vitamin teaching certification, Garner has earned many others, together with one in purposeful medication. It’s this certification in purposeful 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 discuss to Garner, his shoppers, or the consultants who refer individuals to him, you’ll finally hear tales.

Individual A suffered from a power 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, crammed 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 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 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, considering, and scribbling, every little thing got here into focus..

Individual A then acquired an intensive report coupled with an hour-long video from Garner that defined what was happening and why a particular protocol—a combination of dietary supplements and customized vitamin—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 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 subject 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 modifications that focus on “the foundation trigger” of somebody’s well being points.

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

Nonetheless, the career’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, trade watchdogs have closely criticized purposeful medication practitioners for prescribing “reams of ineffective exams.” 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 stated, he sees purposeful medication as no totally different from different professions.

In any given subject, 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 affords 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 may’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 professional

Whether or not you purchase into the purposeful medication strategy 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 fully obsessive about the sector and nearly 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 every day homework permits him to rattle off research references and describe advanced organic processes with enviable ease.

For those who 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 good.”

“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 pictures to Instagram to point out how his physique reworked with Garner’s steerage.

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

Along with his every day immersion into the Nationwide Library of Drugs, 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 consumer over time, so I can see what labored and what didn’t,” he says. (Get our information on learn scientific research.)

How to read scientific studies: A free guide.

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 nearly 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.

In fact, 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 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 observed 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 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 huge offers.”

Introducing the Principle of Constraint

A vitamin 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 also be out of scope.

That stated, there’s lots you’ll be able to nonetheless study from Garner.

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

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

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

Eradicating the constraint affords the simplest 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 solution to enhance manufacturing output or productiveness.

“I take a look at physiology by means of this lens,” says Garner. “That’s how I’ve made a reputation for myself. It’s not an actual macro depend that I’m utilizing. It’s not an actual 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 keeping with Garner, that weak hyperlink is a stressor—equivalent to a meals sensitivity or a light deficiency—that’s taxing the immune system, making it tougher for somebody to get better. Blood work and different labs enable Garner to seek 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 elements.

Ask your self: What’s working towards you (or your consumer)? What weak hyperlinks are stopping you or your consumer 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 a superb preliminary evaluation that asks shoppers about their way of life, well being limitations, mindset, and bodily operate and capability. (Get the consumption kind we use with shoppers right here at PN.)

Get a free client intake form.

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

Nice, now you’ll wish to dig into that, doing a little analysis to higher perceive how each elements would possibly have an effect on your consumer’s well being. Maybe you uncover that their GI situation may intervene with nutrient absorption, particularly of B nutritional vitamins. There’s a clue.

And possibly, throughout your conversations, you glean that relationship issues are preserving your consumer up at night time. May 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

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

For those who ask, “How are you?” your shoppers will probably reply, “okay” or “wonderful”—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 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 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 affords 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 elsewhere, the consumer’s sleep improved, leading to extra power for train and meal prep.

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

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

Garner suggests utilizing power as a gauge. “In case your physiology is responding properly to this system, your power 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 consumer’s) liming elements.)

Use this worksheet to identify limiting factors.

You received’t all the time get it proper

Even with every little thing he’s realized, Garner admits he makes errors.

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

“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 if you happen to’re incorrect a couple of consumer’s final drawback, they’ll seemingly 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 objectives. They’re, as he places it, “vibrating at a distinct 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.”


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

You may 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 ways.

For those who’d wish to study extra, contemplate the PN Stage 1 Vitamin Teaching Certification.



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