NOMADS training system – Holistic health and fitness


When we sit for more than 8h we are supposed to do 1h of moderate to intense activity daily to counteract the negative health effects of being stationary.

And that’s on top of what is recommended for keeping your human body in functional shape into old age.

Working on the ground and adding movement snacks to your day reduces the time needed to get unstuck but it does not cover all the areas of physical health and performance we want to take care of. 

Let’s look at the reasons for exercising and then discuss the different types of training that are part of a smart training routine. 

Why training?

Two reasons: performance and longevity.


How we meet the demands of our daily life matters. 

It’s an easy calculation. 

The strength and energy you have during the day minus what you need for managing your day-to-day is what you have left for what matters to you.

If keeping your posture while typing, carrying groceries or kids, or walking up some steps is taking all your energy you won’t get a lot out of your 90 min deep work blocks.


Medicine will allow us to live longer than ever. 

How gracefully we age, how long we can take care of ourselves, how much pain we will be in, and how much medication we will have to take are all functions of our current health.

What are realistic and smart training goals?

The most important training goal is to be able to train again tomorrow. 

Consistency is key and you should do everything you can to prevent injury.

The second overarching goal is to not neglect any aspect of your fitness. 

It’s easy to find an activity that feels good and lets us progress fast and then sticking with it. 

As we will see there is no single activity that will provide you with all the benefits we are looking for. 

Having a well-rounded human body requires holistic training.

To put it simply, you want to be able to run fast, carry something for a while, lift something heavy without hurting yourself, and be able to effortlessly move your body in space.

Let’s look at the steps to get there. 


A prerequisite of effective training is having a stable and well-aligned base from which you can move and interact with the world. 

Yoga-type workouts are great for this since they teach you balance and how to stabilize your body as a unit. 

Having good coordination and the ability to consciously activate your muscles is necessary for learning good movement patterns, which should be the next step in your program.

Once you are able to align yourself in strong and stable positions, also known as having good posture, it’s time to get moving. Practice how to correctly bend the hip for lifting, how to set the shoulders for pushing and pulling movements, and transferring strength from your body’s core to the extremities.

Learning those key concepts and then practicing them regularly covers most of what we need regarding overuse prevention.


To make our training program really complete we need to use our newfound stability and movement competence to generate some stress responses. 

Pushing our heart rate to the maximum, activating our muscles explosively, and making our cardio system work above baseline for an amount of time tell our body that we are not done yet.

Our biology follows the “use it or lose it” principle and once you lose it it’s hard to get it back.

A strong and healthy heart and muscles that can catch us when we slip are key to living long and well.

What’s part of a smart training program?

A smart training program contains the following elements:

Endurance training

Most commonly known as cardio in the form of jogging. 

Moving for 30+ minutes at a moderate and sustainable pace to get some sweat going is beneficial almost all across the board. 

It improves recovery, sleep quality, mood and cognitive performance. 

Pick any cardio activity and do it at an intensity that allows you to keep a conversation going.

Intensity: low to medium

Frequency: 1-2 times a week

Strength training

Our posture and resilience against injuries is dependent on our muscular system.

Strong muscles tire slowly and allow us to stay in strong and effective postures for longer, thereby preventing pain and overuse issues. 

Practice variations of multi-joint exercises like pull-ups, push-ups, squats, and lunges.

Pick 3 exercises and do 3 sets of 5-10 repetitions, resting 60-90s in between sets.

You want to feel challenged but not push yourself too hard. Make sure you could have done at least 1-2 more repetitions in each set and 1-2 more sets in total.

Intensity: medium to high

Frequency: 2-3 times a week

Power training

Probably the most neglected aspect of most people’s training programs, even though its importance can’t be overstated. 

Being able to react quickly and forcefully to the outside world seems to be the most important aspect of injury prevention. Imagine having to catch yourself after slipping on a banana peel or quickly getting out of the way of a race car. 

Using explosive movements like jumping as high as possible, slamming a medicine ball or sprinting up a hill for 10-20m.

Do 2-4 sets of 3-5 repetitions, staying far away from fatigue or exhaustion. 

Intensity: medium

Frequency: 1-2 times a week

High Heart Rate Training

known as HIIT, interval training or “this day I skipped”. 

The intensity of having your heart pump at 90% or more of its maximal capacity can be uncomfortable at first. 

The good news is that only two 20s all out sprints, separated by 3 minutes of active recovery, have been shown to have measurable improvements in overall health.

Hill sprints, stationary biking or swimming are great exercises for this type of training. 

Aim to bring your heart rate to the maximum at least once in this session working up to 4 intervals of pushing to the limit and recovering before going again. 

Intensity: maximum

Frequency: 1 times a week


Each of the different types of training we looked at is essential to a smart and well-rounded training program. 

I hope this newsletter helped you see what you might be missing and gave you an idea on how to build an exercise schedule you feel confident with.