Senior Physiotherapist Felicia Seah of the Department of Physiotherapy at Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group, gives tips to combat-fit servicemen on how to prepare for the new IPPT (Individual Physical Proficiency Test) and improve performance scores.

First off, forget about quick-fix solutions that promise to help you get fit in a short time. For relatively active men, IPPT training should begin at least 8 weeks prior to the test date. Those that rarely exercise or do it sporadically will need more time, i.e. at least 12 weeks, advises Ms Seah.

Training tips to improve your IPPT scores

Here are exercise tips for each of the three IPPT stations:

Push-ups

The newest station to be introduced to the IPPT, push-ups will test a servicemen’s upper body strength.

To train for this station, one way is to increase the resistance by elevating your feet when doing push-ups. For example, you could use a step at the bottom of the stairs or a low stool. The higher you elevate your feet, the greater the resistance.

Make sure your shoulders are directly above your hands. Look down on the floor and ensure your body forms a straight line throughout the exercise.

Sit-ups

Set a target number of repetitions and train towards achieving it. When performing sit-ups, ensure that your knees are bent about 90 degrees to maintain good lever arm movement.

2.4km run

Apart from long distance running, incorporate interval training so as to be able to run at a faster pace.

As with any form of training, it is important to set safe, achievable goals and not to overexert yourself. Also, be sure to perform adequate warm-ups and to get sufficient rest to prevent injuries.

As for overweight or obese servicemen required to take the IPPT, Ms Seah recommends a medical check-up before going ahead with training. “These individuals should also pace themselves by monitoring their heart rate and exertion levels. Lastly, they should adopt a balanced and nutritious diet as no exercise program is complete without healthy eating.”

Ref: Q15