Transcript for my video “Homemade Weight Gainer – Tip for Muscle Building” on YouTube:

Hey, what’s up, guys? Dan Garner, strength coach and nutrition specialist, here. I want to talk to you today a little about how I put on weight and how I help my clients who have trouble putting on weight. Get some good lean muscle mass on and the way I do that is with a high calorie jar.

But first I want to start this video off by saying I do not recommend supplemental weight gainers. So, those big weight gainers that you see that are like a thousand calories per serving or whatever it is, I really, I don’t recommend any of them and I just, honestly, I’ve seen a lot of guys take weight gainers and never really put on any good weight so just from a clinical experience, but weight gainers are filled with crap. They’ve got tons of corn syrup solids in them, corn starches, a ton of sugar, a lot of sucralose and preservatives. A lot of weight gainers are made with poor quality concentrates as well. I mean, there’s just, there’s tons of reasons why you shouldn’t take them.

You’d be far better off making your own weight gainer. If liquid shakes are your thing, definitely invest in like a Vitamix or a Ninja and make your own homemade weight gainer with some good whey protein powder, blueberries, nuts, whatever it is to make your own and I can even make a video on liquid weight gainers as well if you, guys, are interested in that, but I wanted to kick the video off by first saying that I do not recommend weight gainers. Either eat a lot more food or blend your own weight gainers made of food, okay

But back to the high calorie jar. This baby’s tried and true and I think it’s awesome. So, the high calorie jar is really mainly comprised of a few things. One is a lot of mixed nuts, okay? And make sure they’re raw and not roasted as well. It makes a big difference in the quality and the nutrients that you get and the way your body’s able to absorb them. But I like a good mixture of nuts without peanuts, okay? There’s a lot of problems with peanuts, but what I’ve gotten here is hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts, Brazil nuts. There’s pecans. There’s pistachios in here as well. I’ve got a lot of pretty much every single nut in here except for peanut in here.

Nuts are an awesome source for people gaining weight, okay? They’ve got a decent amount of protein. They’re mainly comprised of healthy fats and to get a mixed variety is in your best interest cause things like Brazil nuts are higher in selenium, which really helps the thyroid convert T4s to T3s and increase metabolism. Walnuts are much higher in omega-3 than other nuts. Cashews and almonds are higher in magnesium than other nutrients out there. Magnesium’s the number 1 mineral deficiency in North America. Magnesium also plays a big role in insulin sensitivity and protein synthesis. So, getting a further variety of nuts is just going to serve you better whether it’s muscle building or fat loss and you’re just going to be more well-rounded in nutrition.

Another thing that I put in my high calorie jar is organic dried fruit. So, okay, this is a bag I just got from Costco. You can buy dried fruits separately at bulk stores, but time is money and I want to save my time and I just buy them pre-mixed. They’re all organic in here and it’s coming with organic cranberries, raisins, tart cherries, seeds, organic blueberries, goji berries. It’s all in here, tons of different ones and really filled with a lot of anti-oxidants and I mean, there’s papers just on blueberries alone about how much of an effect they have on recovery from exercise and performance enhancement. So, anti-oxidants are very big if you’re training hard and trying to build muscle They really help you recover and repair better and the additional carbohydrates and sugars will help you put on a little bit more weight too.

And the last thing that I’m throwing in here is dark chocolate. So, what I use is Lindt dark chocolate, 90%. Lindt is an awesome source of dark chocolate and the reason why is because there’s more fiber in here than there is sugar and there is more protein in here than there is sugar as well. Dark chocolate is very surprisingly, if you don’t already know this, very high in anti-oxidants, protein, and fiber. So, just for example, just 3 squares of this bar is getting you 4 grams of fiber. So, that’s more than a cup of broccoli in terms of fiber intake. There’s 3 grams of protein, which is great, I mean, we’re getting more protein just from chocolate and 16 grams of fat so, a hundred eighty calories just in 3 squares. So, what I’m trying to say here, guys, is keep this very high-calorie, but also, keep it healthy as well. So, these, I only get these ones cause they were on sale, 2 for 4$, at the super store near my store. But if you got a Costco in your area, you can pick up this bad boy. This is 70% dark chocolate, but I got 1., no I got more than 2 pounds of chocolate here and it was very cheap.

What I recommend for the calorie jar is to have more nuts in here than anything else, so I put a lot of raw nuts in my jar, a lot of dried fruit and then what I do with the chocolate is I either break it up into really small squares or I actually cheese grate so, you can take a chocolate bar and a cheese grater and make it into little shavings and then in the end, I put it all in one of these, just Pyrex jars, and shake it up and you’ve got a great mixture- full of anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and a lot of calories.

So, how you would implement this into your plan is you would have it with meals or in between meals. So, if you have trouble putting on weight, just have a handful of this with the meal that you’re eating and have a handful in between meals and what I do, myself, and with my clients and what I recommend is make a whole jar of this but put it where you usually are. So, I spend a lot of time doing online stuff, online coaching and I spend a lot of time on the road as well, going back and forth between the gym to train clients and train myself. So, I have a high calorie jar above my computer and I have a high calorie jar in my car. Okay? So, put it where you normally are so that you see it and you take a handful of it cause just 3 handfuls of this a day is going to get you probably 500 calories or more so, that’s awesome.

That’s a great way to get ahead of the game for anybody who has trouble putting on weight or trouble putting on muscle mass. All right? High calorie jar, guys, this is how you make it. I adapted this technique from Poliquin group. They’re awesome and thank you very much for watching. Check out if you like my stuff and like and subscribe to my channel. Thank you so much.

Transcript of my YouTube video “How Much Protein Do I Need?“:

What’s up, guys? Dan Garner, strength coach and nutrition specialist, going to talk to you today about one of the hottest topics and has been for a long time in the fitness industry, and that’s protein. Protein intake when you’re massing up, protein intake when you’re leaning down, and everything in between.

So, protein in it of itself is about 4 calories per gram and it takes about 20 amino acids to make up what is called protein. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein so it takes a wide variety of amino acids just to make 1 protein molecule. Now, amino acids, they have tons of different functions in the body, like tyrosine is very associated with neurotransmitter development and focus, taurine calms the nervous system down. It’s a better amino acid to take later on in the day to improve gaba pools and calm down before bedtime. Leucine is very popular for activating the mTOR pathway and being very anabolic post-exercise.

So, every amino acid, there’s a lot of amino acids that make up what’s protein, but each amino acid plays very different roles in the body, and amino acids are very important for everything – for regulating blood sugar, for tons of enzymatic reactions in the body, building up lean tissue, repairing tissue, even recovering from surgery. I always recommend people increase their protein and even increase their calorie intake if they’ve had any severe burn or if they’re recovering from surgery cause just a severe burn or surgery can increase your resting metabolic rate anywhere from 15 to 50% during that healing process. Now, that’s huge. 50%, I mean so, if your resting metabolic rate was 2000 calories, let’s say, and this is the amount of calories you burn at rest without activity. Let’s say it was 2000 calories. After a major surgery or after severe burn, your resting metabolic rate might be 3000 calories. It’s much better to get more these in from protein. This is going to help build up your tissue faster cause skin’s tissue just like muscle tissue, you know, so get that protein in. It’s going to help recover you from surgery. It’s going to improve that quality of recovery as well.

One thing I want to address before I go off into a tangent about bulking and cutting and protein needs is addressing the 30 grams of protein in one sitting myth. It is absolutely outrageous. You hear people say that in the gym. What’s worse is I’ve heard personal trainers say that. 30 grams in one sitting- that idea came from a terrible study that’s not even worth mentioning, a long time ago that was completely flawed. The human body can take in way more than 30 grams of protein. And most of the time that people say like well no, you can only absorb 30 grams in one sitting. Well, what do you mean absorb anyways? Are you talking about protein synthesis? Are you talking about it being broken down in neurogenesis into glucose? Are you, different regulating bringing up your amino acid pools, it being stored as fat? There’s so many different ways protein can go, so I don’t know what they mean by just absorb because what doesn’t get used in one area, you’re going to use it to build up and repair tissue. You’re going to use to build up your amino acid pool. It can be turned into glucose for energy. It can be stored as glycogen. It can be stored as fat. Protein, there’s so many different ways in which it can go on the body. That 30 grams in one sitting is ridiculous.

To put that into perspective, that’s about 4 ounces of steak. So you can only have 4 ounces of steak in one sitting and the rest just gets wasted, just gets excreted. That doesn’t make any sense and think about it from an evolution standpoint too. We would have never survived as a species if we could only have 30 grams of protein in one sitting. Caveman, they’d attack saber tooth tigers, woolly mammoths, whatever it was, you can bet your ass, a cavemen wasn’t eating every 2 to 3 hours only 30 grams of protein. It just doesn’t make any sense. You can have as much protein in one sitting as you’re willing to put in your mouth, okay? It’s going to allocate itself to different sources in the body. Yeah, it might not all go to muscle growth, but I have guys at 60 to even a hundred grams of protein in a sitting and they are lean under 10% body fat guys. It’s outrageous statement to say that you can only have 30 grams of protein in one sitting, okay?

Having said that, let’s get to some recommendations. So, here’s where a lot of people have it backwards sometimes and with my athletes and my body builders and even the research can back me up here, when you’re massing up, a good number to hit is about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight a day. And you can receive your other calories from carbohydrates and fats in any which ratio you want. When you’re leaning down is actually when you want to progressively increase your protein intake. So, a lot of people have it reversed. When they want to build a lot of muscle mass, they want to take in all kinds of protein and when they’re leaning down, they kind of bring everything down. But when you’re leaning down, that’s actually when you want to bring protein up a bit. It’s going to help you maintain your lean mass a lot better.

So when you’re massing up a great guideline to start with is 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight and then get your other calories in from carbs and fat to help fuel the workout.

And when you’re leaning down, you want to have progressively increase throughout the process so, if you’re on like a 16-week, 20-week lean down, speaking to a wide audience so it’s tough to make a full guideline here, but you want to progressively increase that to a ceiling of 2 grams per pound of body weight. So, I would progress you at about 1.2 grams per pound, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8, and then to 2 at your ceiling. And we will progressively increase that so there is no chance of you losing muscle mass while you’re leaning down, all right? This is very important. Nobody wants to lose muscle mass when they’re leaning down because muscle’s metabolically active. It’s going to keep your metabolism higher. It’s going to keep you stronger and who wants to lose muscle mass when they’re leaning down? All right? So, I can post some research as well to back this up.

Another thing that I get commonly asked about is food versus protein powders. Now, protein powders are good, but nothing replaces food, and this is agreed upon pretty much by everybody who’s been around the block for bodybuilding, for athletics and nutrition, is that you can’t replace food. One time I am a fan of protein powders though is post workout because there’s a lot of research out there showing increased protein synthesis with whey protein post workout. So increase your muscle’s ability to utilize and build up muscle tissue by taking whey protein post workout and a great way to measure your intake post workout, a conservative way, is .5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight of protein powder after your training. So, I’ll say that again, half a gram of protein per kilogram of body weight of whey protein after your training. That’s a great way to go about it.

If you have acid load issues, cause protein can be acidic; honestly, there’s a great research out of Florida showing that 8 grams of essential amino acids provides the whey protein synthesis of 45 grams of whey protein. So, that’s awesome. That’s huge and it’s not going to provide the same type of acid load that a total protein would. So, if you’re somebody who has osteoarthritis or something like that and their calcium is being robbed from their bone tissue, I would more recommend you go very low protein post workout and have 8 grams of essential amino acids instead of have a big bolus of some whey protein post workout, but if you’re a young person or just someone who wants to build muscle, whey protein’s where it’s at cause it’s rich in immunoglobulines as well. Well, good protein powder is rich in immunoglobulines and they improve your immune system and I’ve said this in other videos, your ability to build muscle mass is a function of how strong your immune system is. So if you have a strong immune system, your ability to build muscle mass is that much greater, okay?

When you’re looking for protein powders, it’s always great to go with a New Zealand brand protein, so like Progressive’s Harmonized Whey, just that’s one of them or whey isolate. So, something like Dymatize ISO 100. Poliquin makes a great protein product as well.

One thing when you’re looking for protein powders is it is good to not have sucralose in it. So, most products do have sucralose in it, ISO 100 included. I found at least with my athletes that it doesn’t make a body composition difference, but sucralose is unhealthy, no matter which way you look at it, so it’s better to have a Stevia sweetening product or an unsweetened product, all right?

Video transcript for my YouTube Video – Tip To Build Lean Muscle:

What’s up, guys? Dan Garner, strength coach and nutrition specialist, here. I’m going to give you a tip to increase your lean muscle mass and to get over a plateau.

All you’re going to do is you’re going to have 50 grams of whey protein isolate, 20 grams of L-glutamine, 5 grams of creatine monohydrate, and 3 grams of L-carnitine first thing in the morning.

And here’s why – There’s two times when growth hormone’s at its highest. Growth hormone’s important for muscle building and fat loss. The two times it’s at its highest is first thing in the morning and right after your workout, but one thing that runs antagonistic with growth hormone is insulin production. So, if you have carbohydrates at this time, you’re going to produce insulin and you’re going to shut down your growth hormone production when it’s at its highest. I’m in the school of thought where I want to take advantage of this growth hormone. So, don’t have carbohydrates with your morning shake. I want it to just be whey protein, glutamine, creatine, and carnitine.

You have hydrolyzed whey protein isolate because it absorbs the fastest so you’re going to be optimizing your growth hormone the best that way and it’s also going to be in and out of your system faster so you can have breakfast one hour after the shake. The glutamine is in there because glutamine is one of the most well rounded amino acids out there.

You can really have as much glutamine as your wallet wants to because glutamine helps repair the lining in your intestinal wall so it’s going to help you break down and absorb food better in the long run after taking glutamine for a long time. It’s used in a lot of functional medicine practitioners gut repair protocols. Glutamine also improves your immune system and one thing we do know is that building muscle is a direct function of how strong your immune system is. So, if you have a weak immune system, you’re not going to be building that much muscle. If you have a strong immune system, you’re going to be able to build a lot of muscle tissue. So, glutamine’s going to help you break food down a little bit better. In the long run, it’s going to improve your immune system, but one reason why I like to use glutamine first thing in the morning is because it’s an adaptogenic amino acid. So, what that means is it can get converted into other amino acids. So, it gets transaminated in the liver and if you’re low in say, l-tyrosine glutamine can get converted into l-tyrosine. If you’re low on phenylalanine, glutamine can get converted into phenylalanine so, it’s going to help balance out your amino acid pool and do everything else that I already said.

So, we’re going to optimize growth hormone with the whey protein. We’re going to add in the glutamine for all those benefits, your creatine monohydrate for obvious benefits. Everybody knows creatine monohydrate should be taken at this time because, it can be taken at any time and despite old school people in the gym, you do not need carbohydrates. You do not need to spike your insulin. You do not need these pathways. You don’t need carbohydrates to absorb creatine monohydrate. I like to have it first thing in the morning. It’s going to help you improve you strength and performance while training is going to help you put on some lean mass too and it’s the most researched creatine out there. So, why take a new well-marketed form of creatine when it doesn’t have the backing that monohydrate does and monohydrate’s way cheaper. So run monohydrate – It’s where it’s at. And the carnitine is going to help you boost your testosterone. It’ s going to help you boost your testosterone. It’s also going to kickstart that fat loss. There’s a lot of good research out there on carnitine improving neural drive as well, especially in the morning, and it’s actually for shift workers. Acetyl L-carnitine, I find, works very well with shift workers to get them out of a morning funk.

To wrap it up, to get over a plateau or if you’re getting back from vacation and you feel like you’ve lost some muscle mass or whatever it is, if your goal it just to build some muscle mass, 50 grams of hydrolyzed whey protein isolate, so Dymatize ISO 100 or Optimum Nutrition’s Hydrowhey, with 5 grams of creatine monohydrate, 20 grams of pure L-glutamine, and 3 grams of carnitine. That’s going to help you guys out. It’s helped myself and my clientele out a lot in the past. Thanks for watching.

Video transcript of my YouTube Video: How To Limit Fat Storage from Cheat Meals:

What’s up, guys? Dan Garner, strength coach and nutrition specialist, here. I’m going to talk a little bit about cheating your cheating meals. It’s not something I advocate to do all the time because I’m a nutrition specialist, but there’s ways to have damage control when you cheat. So, to decrease the susceptibility of storing a lot of fat if you go on a binge or anything like this.

Cheat meals are, they keep you on track, they keep you sane and they’re delicious, but ways to cheat your cheat meal is really by managing insulin and something called nutrient partitioning. So, ensuring certain nutrients go to where they should be going, that your breaking them down properly, and that you’re absorbing them into the muscle tissue as opposed to the fat cells.

Cinnamon Before The Meal

A couple of ways that you can go about doing this is cinnamon. Cinnamon is a really underrated spice. Insulin’s a fat-storing hormone and what insulin does, like the totally basic, you’re going to open up, insulin is anabolic so, it helps build muscle tissue, but it also adds nutrients to the fat cells as well. So, when you have a cheat meal, you’re spiking the insulin to store the fat cells, okay, and having cinnamon before that meal or with it can decrease the insulin secretion up to 29%. So, just cinnamon can decrease that fat-storing hormone 29%.

Lots of Water With Meal

If you’re having a cheat meal, it’s good to drink large amounts of water with it for a lot of reasons. Number one is carbohydrates. People’s main cheats are pretty heavy carbohydrate-filled so candies, chocolates, pastas, breads, desserts, whatever it is, usually cheat meals are decently high in carbohydrates, which spikes insulin by the way. But every carbohydrate, it needs to be stored into the muscle cell also requires 4 parts- 3 to 4 parts- water. So, for every 1 part carbohydrate, you’re going to need 3 to 4 parts water in order to store that carbohydrate as glycogen in the muscle cell as opposed to it going in the fat cells. So if you’re dehydrated, you’re not going to be storing it as glycogen cause you’re not going to have the water volume and hydration in order to allow that carbohydrate to be properly stored as fuel instead of fat. So, water’s good to ensure or help ensure carbohydrate is stored as glycogen, but water can also quicken gastric clearance. So, it can actually quicken the rate at which the food is moving through your GI tract and cause less of to be absorbed and more to be excreted. So if you have tons of water with it, you can kind of- in layman’s terms- push all that food through so that you’re not absorbing a lot of it with that meal.

Caffeine During Meal

Having caffeine with the meal does quicken gastric clearance pretty effectively as well. So something like 16 ounces of tea is going to really increase your fluid intake plus your caffeine intake. Green tea is another phenomenal one to have with a cheat meal, especially green tea, and really in supplement form because supplement form is more effective. It’s just stronger. You can have green tea. I mean it has tons of health benefits, but green tea taken with carbohydrates decreases the amount of carbohydrates you can absorb from the meal. So, if you’re having green tea with the meal, you’re going to decrease the amount of carbohydrates that you can absorb with that meal. If you’re drinking lots of water with it, hopefully those are getting stored into glycogen as opposed to fat and getting excreted through gastric clearance. You’re having cinnamon to blunt that insulin response anyways.

Intense Exercise For 60 -120 Seconds Before Meal

And another one, it sounds kind of funny, you’re going to look kind of funny but it’s extremely effective so, to effective something called the GLUT4 response pathway, this is what really drives nutrients into the muscle cell for fuel and into the mitochondria as opposed to being stored into the fat cell. It’s a physiology term, but research has shown just 60 to 120 seconds of pretty intense activity can activate your GLUT4 response pathway and so, doing 60 to 120 seconds of air squats or wall presses prior to a cheat meal is going to really help activate this glut4 response pathway and allow you to, just a higher percentage, a higher susceptibly for those nutrients to go into the muscle cell as opposed to the fat cell.

So, 60 seconds of air squats or 2 minutes of air squats in the bathroom stall of the restaurant or if you ordered pizza at home, no worries. You can just have, do 60 second to a 120 seconds of activity at home before you eat that meal and it sounds silly but it works. So, that is effective in it of itself.


That’s 3 or 4, 5 ways to help really cheat your cheat meal. Staying active also really helps cheat the cheat meal. So, if you workout that day, preferably beforehand, you’re going to be more insulin sensitive, so you’re going to be more effective at storing into the muscle cell and also if it was a tough workout, your body’s going to want to use some of those calories to build muscle tissue and use some of those calories to top off your energy stores because you had a tough workout.

So, if you can stay active, have some cinnamon before or after the meal, have some caffeine during the meal, lots of water during the meal, hit 60 to 120 seconds of decently high intensity activity immediately before the meal, and have some green tea with the meal, you’re doing yourself a ton of favors for damage control and cheating you cheat meal.

I don’t advocate to do this all the time because it, I mean come on – cheats are cheats for a reason, okay? So, if you can work it into your macronutrients, then you can work it into your macronutrients, but if it’s something that’s totally off track, doing this is going to lessen the damage that you’re doing to yourself.

Transcript of my “Best Breakfast To Eat” Video on YouTube:

What’s up, guys? Dan Garner, strength coach and nutrition specialist here to talk to you about breakfast. I’m a huge proponent on my client getting breakfast, a good healthy breakfast in everyday. I just feel like they perform better. They always report that they’re sharper and specifically, the meat and nut breakfast.

I’m a big fan of the Poliquin meat and nut breakfast. He’s made it pretty famous. This breakfast is fantastic because it’s very high in proteins, it’s very high in fibers, it’s very high in healthy fats and I mean, that’s everything that you need for optimal body composition.

Start your breakfast off with 20%, so if- got my numbers here- if 30% of your calories from breakfast are from protein sources, it’s going to elevate your metabolism 20% for the entire day. So, that’s huge right there. So something just as simple as having more protein for breakfast can elevate metabolism throughout the entire day, I’m definitely going to be taking advantage of it, cause the metabolism just doesn’t result in more muscle mass, but it also results in more fat loss too. You want to have a high-protein breakfast, the healthy fats in the meal, the combination of healthy fats and proteins is going to keep you insulin sensitive so the carbohydrates that you do take in are going to be much more susceptible to being stored as glycogen as opposed to into the fat cell.

Another thing with the meat and nut breakfast is it is very effective at keeping you mentally sharp. So, I mean, this is a very well rounded breakfast. It’s going to help you burn fat. It’s going to help you build muscle, but it also has a psychological aspect to it too and that’s because it increases two neurotransmitters in the brain known as dopamine and acetylcholine and these are really your motivation drive and active neurotransmitters in the brain and research was done on- a lot of research has been done on the meat and nut breakfast and high-protein high-healthy fat breakfasts, but it really boils down to increasing this neurotransmitters, increasing neurodrives.

This type of breakfast is going to give you more energy throughout the day. There’s good research on- they were furniture makers actually, and the control group who did not have the meat and nut breakfast versus the control group who did have the meat and nut breakfast, the control group made more furniture between breakfast and lunch, but they also made a lot more furniture after lunch too, which means that it is a good indicator that breakfast dictates energy levels throughout the entire day regardless of what you ate for lunch.

People who had a high-protein high-healthy fat breakfast as opposed to sugary cereals- this was a children’s study- they scored an average 20 points higher on an IQ test, having a high-protein high-healthy fat breakfast as opposed to sugary cereal. That’s huge. This is really important for parents. I mean, it’s always good to have a breakfast that’s going to burn fat, build muscle, and whatever, but it’s very important for parents to give their kids a high-protein high-healthy fat breakfast as well because it’s going to keep their attention span, their focus, and their drive at school that much more effective because when you have a cereal, that’s sugar. One thing I tell all parents that work with me is that to eliminate cereal from their kid’s diet. It’s brutal for your physiology and it’s neurotoxic as well, but aside from that, having more attention span in school and having more neurodrive at school, they’re going to perform better mentally and physically.

So, it’s really a no brainer. It’s going to help you build muscle, burn fat, you’re going to be even more neurally, you’re going to have more neurodrive, it’s better for kid’s school. High-healthy fats and good sources of protein with breakfast is the way to go.

I am a big fan of the meat and nut breakfast. I have a 100% positive feedback on this breakfast- 100%. Everybody thinks it’s weird when they start. I’ve had a client say that she felt like a bear when she started because she’s eating meat and nuts. I’ve had people say that they feel like caveman because they’re eating meat and nuts. All jokes aside, they still keep eating meat and nuts because they understand what good energy is now.

So, to start your breakfast right: guys, two palms-size servings of protein with a thumb-size serving of fat is a great start or just a hand-full of nuts; and women, one palm-size serving of protein and a handful of nuts would be a great way to start the day, regardless of your goals.