Designing the optimized version of you starts right here.
Hi, my name is Zack Arnold. I’m 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’).
I help ambitious creative professionals like you who live sedentary lifestyles learn how to more efficiently manage your time, energy, and attention so you can maximize your focus and creativity, minimize depression and burnout, and become the optimized version of yourself. What’s the point of sacrificing your health for the sake of your career if you don’t have the energy to enjoy your life?
To be clear, I detest the word “expert,” and I am not a guru. I am also not a “biohacker,” and I have no intention of showing you how to “become superhuman.” Optimizing yourself is about understanding your own limitations, recognizing (and accepting) your own disabilities, and then becoming the strongest and most authentic version of your existing self…not trying to become someone you’re not.
I didn’t build this program from the top of an ivory tower. I’m just a guy who has spent the last fifteen years chained to a computer (in the dark), and because of the stressful and sedentary nature of my career, I have battled burnout, attention issues, and depression more times than I can keep track of.
If you’re looking for all the answers, you’re on the wrong site. I am on the same journey as you, I just happen to be obsessed with learning everything I can about optimizing creative performance. My job is to shorten your learning curve by sharing my best discoveries with you.
You are in the right place if…
What you do is who you are
You work a creative job not because it pays the bills but because your creativity defines you. Yet the demands you put on yourself (not to mention your boss) constantly burn you out, and you’re afraid if you don’t figure this out, you may end up walking away from something you once loved.
You’re seeking the tools to take your creativity (and your career) to the next level
You’re tired of your career dominating you, and quite frankly you don’t know if you’ll ever get where you want to be (and if one more person says “hang in there” you’ll punch them). You’re ready to follow a path that you’re confident will lead to success…except in your creative field there is no path (I’m going to show you how to forge your own unique path).
You’re ready to take action and put in the work
You understand life transformation doesn’t happen overnight. You realize it took years to develop the habits that have led you to where you are, and you know it will take patience to make positive changes in your life that truly last. When it comes to your health and making progress in your career, you are ready to play the “long game.” It’s time to stop playing checkers and start playing chess.
Ready to Get Started?
I created this guide for you 100% FREE because I would’ve given anything to have this information available to me when I was just beginning my journey out of the dark hole towards better health and optimized creative performance.
“I’ve done creative work for close to 10 years and I can’t tell you how much I’ve dealt with the topics you cover – mental burnout, physical fatigue, trouble coming up with strategies to advance my career. It’s really amazing to have someone with a filmmaking POV offer a unique perspective and solutions to these problems. “Daniel M.
“Your podcast is a Godsend in that I too was suffering from some pretty bad burnout/depression a little over a year ago. I do love this work and I completely believe that it does not need to be like it is. I decided that the thing I could change was myself and I began working on doing the things I need to be healthy, happy and successful in this industry.”Scotty D.
“I was working 90 hour weeks which led to insomnia, an onset of severe depression, and a cycle of lying in bed only to stare at the ceiling in adrenaline-fueled exhaustion. There aren’t enough letters in the phrase “thank you” to accurately express how grateful I am for the community you started and the work you put into this program.”Benjamin B.
“Your podcast is incredibly informative, insightful, and engaging. I want to compliment you on your wide array of guests and how many of them feature women. It’s encouraging to know there are amazing women out there who made it or are working to make it. Thank you for making the impossible feel like it exists in the same reality as I do.”Abbey G.
Required Reading For New Visitors
If this is your first time here, you’re probably wondering how the heck it’s possible to combine optimal health with your crazy career (especially if you’re raising a family). The articles below should help.
The Top 10 Tools I Use Every Day to Optimize Creative Performance
There is a ton of garbage available online. I know because I’ve tried a lot of it. In fact, I’ve spent the last 10 years and over $75,000 searching for the best products, programs, and systems that ensure I maintain high levels of energy and creativity no matter how crazy my schedule. If I could only have access to ten products, these are the ten things I couldn’t live without.
I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase any of the following products below (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
#1 – The ‘Move Yourself’ Program
I’ll be the first to admit I’m very biased when it comes to recommending the Move Yourself Program. Why? Because I designed it myself. When you simply don’t have enough hours in the day to “hit the gym,” your next best option is learning how to reshape your habits during your workday to effortlessly become more active. Sit less, focus more, build better habits, and become so active at work you’ll never feel guilty for skipping the gym again.
#2 – Topo Mat
If you’re planning to design a more dynamic work environment for yourself that includes a height-adjustable desk (which I highly recommend), the first investment you MUST make is a Topo Mat. Every single time someone walks into my office, their first question is, “What’s that funny mat for?” Then after trying it for 30 seconds their response is, “Whoah, this is amazing. Where can I get one?” This mat will drastically reduce any discomfort or fatigue you experience when standing at your desk…and it’s fun! (Concerned the Topo Mat is too large either because you are shorter or you have limited space? Check out the Topo Mini)
#3 – Human Charger
As a film editor I spend a ridiculous amount of hours in dark rooms. Exposure to the sun is absolutely essential for your well-being, and it also affects the quality of your sleep. While getting sunlight is always your best option, what if you could have sunlight in your pocket and it was as easy to use as an iPod? Sound like some distant utopian future? The future is here, and it’s called The Human Charger. This product is a game-changer if you spend long days in windowless rooms. Get 20% OFF using the coupon code ‘OPTIMIZE.’
#4 – Shakeology
You’re getting the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables every single day, right? And you’re avoiding all processed foods and eating 100% organic, whole, raw foods? Yeah, me neither. When I don’t have time to have a healthy meal but I want to avoid take-out, my #1 meal replacement recommendation is Shakeology. Shakeology can help you effortlessly lose weight, reduce cravings for junk food, have more consistent energy, and it also supports healthy digestion and regularity. In short, there’s no easier way to launch the healthier version of you than one densely nutritious smoothie per day. (If budget is a concern, my honorable mention goes to Vega One).
#5 – Fitbit
Movement throughout your workday is the #1 engine that will drive your creativity, but to create better habits you first must know how much you’re moving today. What you measure, you can improve upon. Fitbit provides the best quantification tools on the market and makes tracking and measuring fun. Challenge yourself to take more steps, get outside for walking breaks, and ignite your creativity! (My current favorite toy is the Fitbit Blaze. If you just want to test the waters and not make a large investment, start with the Fitbit One.)
#6 – Athletic Greens
If you can’t go more than an hour without a Coke or Red Bull to keep you energized and focused, it’s time for a better plan. How about if instead of caffeine and sugar you tried 70 superfood ingredients instead? I take a tablespoon of Athletic Greens with 16 oz of water every morning. It’s the energy drink that’s actually healthy.
#7 – Nutribullet
My Nutribullet is the most indispensable tool in my kitchen, I use it 2-3 times per day. I even own a second Nutribullet that I take with me to every job. If you’re serious about maximizing nutrition with minimal effort, especially if plan to start incorporating Shakeology into your daily routine, this appliance is a must-have.
#8 – Kettlebells
The chances you’ll have time to hit the gym are pretty slim, but if you have a set of kettlebells by your desk you can fit in strength training any time of day. I often swing a kettlebell or do squats while watching footage or reviewing music tracks. And they’re an awesome conversation starter too!
#9 – The ‘Pivot’ Chair
Hands down, my favorite option for a more dynamic workspace is my Pivot chair. I bring one to every job without question and immediately ask that the regular desk chair be moved into another room. It will keep you active, increase circulation, and help reduce your lower back pain. And it’s fun!
#10 – Beachbody On Demand
I know you don’t have time to hit the gym, but that’s no excuse to not fit in one or two high intensity exercise breaks during the day. Beachbody On Demand is the Netflix of exercise programs and contains the best Beachbody has to offer including the entire P90X series, 10-Minute Trainer, and a whole library of exercise programs you can stream right at your workstation during quick activity breaks.