3 Everyday Places to Train for IPPT
By Nina Syahira
January 23, 2014
At the end of Basic Military Training (BMT), every young Singapore man has to face a standard physical fitness test. Known as the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT), it is a requirement for all members of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to meet the standards set by the official scoring system to pass. There are various places around the country that cater to fitness training for it but you don’t have to go too far to gear up.
Before we tell you where, check out these tips on how to face this daunting task at hand!
Photo sourced from stronglifts.com
One of the top most dreaded stations is doing the chin-up or pull-up. The theory behind it sounds simple; grab onto the bar with both hands and pull yourself up until your chin reaches above it and then return to original position. The arms must be straightened again before each repetition to make it count. Many concentrate on training the biceps for the strength to ace this test. However, that alone is not enough.
How to pass: Start by knowing the proper technique of performing a chin-up. Often times, the failure lies in the basic execution of it which will not help you improve at all. Watch fitness videos on YouTube or ask a friend or gym trainer for assistance. There is no shame in trying to perfect the basics. It also helps to prevent injuries. Once you get past that, train your back and shoulder muscles together with your biceps. This will help to build up your upper body strength a lot more effectively and not only will you get a passing grade but you will also excel and as an added bonus point, impress.
Photo sourced from menshealth.com.sg
Standing Broad Jump
The next feared one on the list for many is the standing broad jump station. The goal here is to jump the furthest distance you can with both feet landing stably on the ground. The score is then given according to the distance measured from the starting point to the back of the heel which is closest to the line. Clearly, this just puts your leg muscles to the test, right? Well, there’s actually more.
How to pass: Again, know the correct technique before attempting to perfect it. Do you notice that other people swing their arms as they take the leap? The reason is that it helps to lift you higher, giving the body that extra momentum. But with this knowledge and strong leg muscles alone, you might still find yourself hitting the same mark on the distance chart mat over and over again. So be sure to train those arm and hip muscles as well. The glutes in the hip, which means the butt muscles, need to be developed too. Then practise double leg hops and tuck jumps to strengthen those leg muscles and arm and leg coordination to increase your total jumping distance. And above it all, get over your fear of doing the jump and just do it. As the saying goes, mind over matter.
The proper way to do a sit-up is to keep your hands cupped around the ears and knees bent about 90 degrees as you lift your upper body without the hip. It is very important to know this as the incorrect technique can injure your tailbone.
How to pass: For good measure, strengthen your core muscles to protect that lower back. Work those abdominal muscles when practising the correct form of doing the sit-up.
This station tests both speed and agility. By lifting your knees and swinging your arms as you sprint, you can take those precious seconds off your timing. Knowing how to turn your lower body correctly can also help.
How to pass: During training, practise interval sprints to develop short bursts of speed. Do ladder drills or use cones to improve your footwork and change of direction. Condition your body to turn directions swiftly and synchronize your arm movements while practising.
Long distance running is also tested on all SAF members. You can choose to run and/or walk to cover the required distance of 2.4km. It sounds simple enough and as long as you do the proper training, you can do well here.
How to pass: Start training at least two months before the test date (also recommended for all stations) to build up your endurance. Pick a target time (go small first) and do interval running to improve your speed and pace. Learn to maintain your speed in each training round and focus on completing the sets first. As you practise more, set a new target of a shorter time with every run.
For any type of training, be sure to strengthen your core muscles and do enough stretching to warm up the body beforehand. With these tips in mind, you can start training right and pass your IPPT… with gold! So to give you that little extra nudge, here’s our list of 3 everyday places you can head down to any time at your own convenience.
You can practise a lot of the basic exercises like toning those glutes! Watch and follow exercise TV shows or YouTube videos, do squats during a commercial break or even challenge yourself to see how many crunches you can do during an entire TV show.
2. The Office
Just because you have an official set number of working hours, that doesn’t mean you cannot take short breaks outside of lunch. In fact, this is encouraged. Strengthen your leg muscles by doing one-legged squats with your desk chair. You can even make this as an office activity which will increase overall morale and work relationships.
3. SAFRA’s IPPT Fitness Corners
The first ever training facility is at Hillock Park in Bukit Purmei estate and was first opened in March four years ago. The project’s expansion efforts have since benefitted the whole of Singapore with a fitness corner for NSmen in five town councils.
Check out our clubhouse facilities to keep fit and stay in shape!