Fitness In Post Is Now ‘Optimize Yourself’

The fear I feel as I publish this post is second only to the sheer terror I felt when I first went live with the Fitness In Post program at the Los Angeles Creative Pro User Group in May of 2014. At the time I assumed getting on stage and speaking about better health in front of 100+ film editors would yield thrown tomatoes, chuckles, and a few boos. After all, I was attempting to sell chocolate popsicles at a white glove convention.

To my surprise the response was quite the opposite. Not only was my presentation about learning how to live a healthier lifestyle in front of a computer well received – in fact, several people even gave a standing ovation saying:

“It’s about time someone started talking about our health in this industry!”

Without really being aware of it that evening, I started an important conversation and struck a deep nerve. I discovered very quickly I wasn’t the only “creative” tired of living a sedentary lifestyle working brutally long hours chained to a computer who was on a quest to optimize my health for the sake of my creativity, my career, and ultimately the future of my family.

I wasn’t the only one tired of treating myself like a Ford Pinto.

I wanted to learn how to become a Ferrari.

It is just short of 3 years since the debut of Fitness In Post and I now have thousands of readers and newsletter subscribers across 6 continents (I’m still working on Antarctica), I’m approaching 200,000 podcast downloads, and I have several hundred students using my online courses…in short, this program has grown beyond my wildest dreams.

But with growth also comes growing pains.

Therefore, it is with tremendous excitement, optimism, and a bit of a heavy heart that I announce as of today:

Fitness In Post is becoming ‘Optimize Yourself.’

 

I ask for your patience as this transition happens over the coming weeks. The site will be undergoing a bit of a facelift, and there are quite a few things that have to happen behind-the-scenes to switch over the site URL as well as the newsletter, so please bear with me.

A BRANDING CONUNDRUM

When Fitness In Post began, it was nothing more than a hobby with a catchy name.

“You spend all day ‘fixing it in post,’ now it’s time for some fitness in post!”

My aim was to create a few activity groups of fellow film editors so we could hike together, conquer P90X as a team, learn from each other’s successes (and failures), and keep each other accountable. My first “Challenge Group” had 12 members. By contrast, the “5X Challenge” that I recently completed in January had over 1100 members.

What I’ve discovered over the last 3 years is that the topics I enjoy learning about and teaching the most stretch far beyond “fitness,” and the name “Fitness In Post” simply didn’t provide the proper branding for this program to evolve and grow.

On one hand those who found this program that worked in the film & tv post-production industry were confused because they thought the site only had to do with fitness, yet I had podcasts and blog posts about nutrition, productivity, better sleep, and even ways to advance in their careers.

So was this a site with exercises to be done at your desk? Was it a gym for editors? I don’t get it!

On the other hand I began getting a surge in web traffic from people all over the world in completely different industries. Despite knowing nothing about my industry, they too lived the same sedentary lifestyle for brutally long hours in front of a computer. I was hearing from writers, online entrepreneurs, coders & programmers, and I even have a retired pharmacist in my program!

My message about fighting for work-life balance resonated deeply, but even some of my most dedicated readers had NO IDEA what the “post” meant in Fitness In Post. People thought perhaps my site had something to do with post-workout exercises or supplementation, or at the extreme end people actually wondered if the program had something to do with physical posts…like you know….that you put in the ground.

The message was clear: I had a branding problem, no matter who found my site.

As the blog and podcast continued to grow, I started receiving requests from hundreds of people who wanted to go to the next level:

Do you have a program that lays out everything you’ve learned step-by-step so I can learn more on my own time?

How about a video library of stretches and exercises I can do at my desk?

Can you teach me how to be more productive and become a Trello ninja?

Upon the realization that I could share the knowledge I have acquired over the last decade and use my own successes (and failures) to inspire people to transform their own lives for the better…“Optimize Yourself” was born.

I knew that day Fitness In Post probably wasn’t the right name anymore, but I stuck with it for the next year because I have such an emotional connection to the original idea as well as my community of fellow film & tv editors.

But the time has come to embrace the only true constant in life: Change.

WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS

I have no doubt that my loyal readers and listeners have questions, so I’ll do my best to answer the most common questions below. Feel free to leave a comment if you have further questions as well.

Does this mean you’re abandoning filmmakers and editors?

Changing the name of this program has nothing to do with moving away from post-production or the filmmaking community. Film editing is in my blood…it’s been my passion and my identity since I was ten years old.

I plan to provide even more resources for the filmmaking community, specifically editors, but the programs I intend to create just don’t fit under the category of “fitness,” so changing the program name allows me to further broaden the topics I can cover.

What will happen to the ‘Fitness In Post’ podcast?

Future podcast episodes will now be under the name ‘Optimize Yourself’ as well, but I will continue to interview a wide variety of guests in the filmmaking, health, nutrition, and productivity fields. Once again, removing the name “Fitness” simply allows me to broaden the types of guests I can pursue. (You’d be surprised at how many guests have now been willing to be on the show since I’ve introduced it under the name ‘Optimize Yourself’)

Where things get a little tricky with the podcast is that the new show will have its own feed in iTunes and all other podcast players. For that reason there is quite a bit of work that needs to be done behind-the-scenes to relaunch the show under a new name and banner.

Therefore, the podcast will be on a hiatus for several weeks as I set up the new show and relaunch it from scratch. In addition, as I write this I’m currently editing an incredibly demanding tv pilot, and my time is very short. I will do my best to get the new show up as quickly as possible, and I appreciate your patience. Keep an eye out for it sometime in May.

For all of my existing subscribers, I will announce via my email newsletter as well as the existing podcast feed where to subscribe to the new show once it releases.

What kinds of new articles, podcast interviews, and online programs can I expect?

This is where the rebranding gets really exciting.

Whether real or imagined in my own mind, the name “Fitness In Post” has restricted me from writing about and pursuing specific areas of interest because I didn’t feel they were relevant. But now that I can focus on the much broader mission of “optimization,” there are many more topics I can dive into that don’t specifically have to do with fitness. One of the most exciting things I’m developing right now is a mentorship and coaching program for those interested in breaking into or advancing in their filmmaking careers. Because there is no set path or clear road map, I intend to provide the program and steps necessary to help anyone interested in advancing themselves. More info is coming soon.

DIFFERENT NAME, SAME MISSION

Over the last three years I’ve made 1000 mistakes. When I began I had no idea how a website even worked, how to conduct a podcast, how to write a blog post, and Dear Lord was I a mess with social media (to this day I still have over 1000 Russian prostitutes following me on Twitter…don’t ask).

But despite the steep learning curve during the evolution of this program, my mission has never changed: Convincing you it is time to start treating yourself better than your technology.

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 9.42.30 PM

The debut homepage of ‘Fitness In Post,’ May 2014

I look forward to the opportunity to grow this program even further and continue to share with you everything I’ve learned in my own personal journey about how to optimize the most powerful operating system you have: Yourself.

Be well.

Zack Arnold

Zack Arnold is an award-winning film & television editor (Burn Notice, Empire, Shooter, Glee), member of the American Cinema Editors, a documentary director (GO FAR: The Christopher Rush Story), and creator of the Optimize Yourself program (formerly ‘Fitness In Post’). He helps ambitious creative professionals like you learn how to more efficiently manage your time, energy, and attention so you can maximize your creative focus and minimize procrastination, depression, and burnout. After all, what’s the point of killing yourself for the sake of your career if you don’t have energy to spare for the most important people in your life?