@dangarnernutrition is a human performance specialist and one of the sharpest minds in sports nutrition.

He’s also a successful coach and experienced bodybuilder.

But with bandwidth stretched to breaking point and a travel schedule that could kill a roadie, Dan asked me to take the reigns to offload the big-picture decision-making of diet and training for 4+ months.

Suffice to say:

  • Training was hard and progress was not linear—adjustments had to be made along the way.
  • We had our fair share of setbacks to work through.
  • There was hunger and suffering in the latter stages.

That last point is particularly worth calling attention to.

I routinely hear from guys eating “around 2,200 calories” and complaining how the scale isn’t moving.

First, most are a lot fatter than they realize. They’ll say “I’m around 10%” body fat” but it’s really more like 15-20%. Sorry, but your favorite anabolic lighting isn’t reality.

Second, you’ll likely need to eat UNDER 2,000 cals per day to see decent progress. And when 200 grams is protein and fats are nominal, you can kiss “eating to satiety” goodbye.

And to Dan’s credit, he let me push him DEEP into true hunger and depletion.

Towards the end, he ate just 1500K daily, with protein 200G protein split into 4-5 servings of 40g across the day.

“Treats” were handfuls of berries, ketchup, and zero-cal Fresca.

You get the picture.

That’s one of the things I think I love most about coaching—not just seeing clients succeed but witnessing the WORK.

Plus, I LEARN something with every client engagement.

With Dan, there were a few key lessons to take away:

1. Diet and training have to be planned around your WHOLE life. That means family, work, and travel. Ignore any one aspect at your peril.

2. You can’t push training into the red zone on really low calories. Not only is it not necessary, recovery is taxed even harder and the risk of injury increases significantly.

3. A successful diet doesn’t end after the peak date. That’s often when the hard work begins.


If you’re ready to get in the best shape of your life next year, it’s time to start laying the foundation. Drop me a message and we will get the ball rolling.

– Coach Bryan