Optimize Fitness Update: Version 1.15

At Optimize Fitness, we are striving to create the best tool for every person to achieve the fitness goals most important to them. That's why we are constantly collecting user feedback data to improve the app. This recent update holds several key features that make using the app significantly more comfortable while adding new content and tools. If you haven't had the chance yet, we highly recommend updating the app, or downloading it for the first time. 

What's New




New Tutorials to help explain new features




Track your weight, BMI, body measurements and more





Add information to completed workouts like calories burned, progress photos and more




Apple Healthkit integrations





Exercise details page that provides instructions along with tips and tricks

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is a term that gets thrown around a lot these days, but for a long time I wasn't 100% clear on the definition. At a very basic level, we can take these two extremely common words individually and derive meaning easily. We can conclude that machine learning is, of course, when machines (like computers), learn stuff on their own without being explicitly told what to do by a programmer. Right?

While this is the basic meaning, without understanding how this occurs you could be somewhat unsettled by this prospect. You would be right to assume this puts us squarely on the road to Skynet, but we don't need to worry too much about our machine overlords just yet.

What has made machine learning so prominent today is the explosion of data that the internet has provided. With all this data, computers are continually getting new, more, and better information to analyze that can influence their decision making. Programs that can provide different results based on new information are using machine learning- but they always come back to some core rules or regulations that influence the output they generate. Thus the "learning" is just deriving new answers to the same questions once they get more information. 

This is how Optimize works- as you exercise more, Optimize gets more information about your workout habits, ability, and progress. Therefore, as you progress, plans and recommendations continue to get more and more personalized. 

A much better explanation of machine learning with great visualizations can be found here.


Getting to the Gym in 2017

Getting to the gym is only the first step, and not necessarily the hardest one.

This January, as with every January, millions of Americans will make that New Year’s resolution to get a gym membership (or just make use of one they’re already paying for!).

It’s certainly difficult for many of us to find the time and motivation to just get to the gym- and I believe one aspect that hinders our efforts is the uncertainty of what to do when we arrive. Often times our schedule prevents us from consistently adhering to rigid fitness plans we read about online or in a magazine, and while they can provide a starting point, often times that is all we get- and a big driver to why many of us stop going to the gym so soon after we made the resolution.

Optimize Fitness uses powerful machine learning algorithms to take the uncertainty out of the equation, and give you both the tools to learn and the flexibility you need to make fitness a regular part of your busy schedule.  After each use, the algorithm processes your performance and adapts to provide new exercises, sets, weight and reps based on your ability and goals. So, the more you use it, the better it gets at knowing you and your preferences.

Don’t bother trying to fit your goals into a cookie-cutter program, or blindly follow a boring set of body weight exercises arbitrarily strung together; take your workouts to the next level with the dynamic and adaptive exercises provided by Optimize.

Practice What You Preach

Both Joe and I, as cofounders of Optimize Fitness, are just as excited about using the app ourselves as we are about building something great for our customers. We too both work full time jobs and need to make the most of our gym time- and this means not wasting it creating plans and routines, especially without knowing exactly when we'll have time to workout next.

I’ve spent decades working out and staying fit. And for most of it, I never really knew what I wanted to accomplish. Here and there I played some sports, so weightlifting became “cross training” and gave the illusion of purpose. The fact of the matter is I never really had a goal because there isn’t a defined end; much as in life itself, the journey is the destination. I wasn’t trying to bench 300lbs to achieve a sense of accomplishment, I just wanted to keep looking and feeling great- and hopefully, keep improving.

But, as with most things, life gets in the way. I’d lift occasionally, go for months without getting to the gym, sneak in the occasional run. Other times, I’d feel incensed by my sedentary tendencies and workout furiously until mired in injury. Both are far from ideal. I’ve cycled through dozens of plans and workouts, from supersets to hypertrophy to Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength and dozens in between.

In the end, all I’m trying to do is stay in shape. While what that means to me has changed over the years, the value and benefits of physical fitness have only become more apparent. As I’ve gotten older however, my free time has decreased and my schedule requires more flexibility.

Staying in shape is hard. It takes discipline, time and effort. We're working together to build a system that creates flexibility and efficiency so we can minimize our time in the gym and maximize our gains.