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Tips on How to Train for Your IPPT!

One of our Personal Trainers, Jing Jie, on his run!

"Jialat my IPPT coming, go run with me leh..."
Sounds familiar? Regardless of whether you are just aiming for a pass or going for Gold for your IPPT, it is important to give yourself at least 6-8 weeks to condition your body and train for IPPT. Read on as we share some valuable training tips for each station to help you ace the IPPT.

Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) is the standard physical fitness test all Singaporean men have to take every year, from the time they enlist till the end of their reservist period.

Designed to motivate these men to maintain their fitness levels, the government offers incentives of up to $500 for the completion of the IPPT, depending on how well you fare. Failing the IPPT or not meeting the minimum requirements can result in the need to attend 20 weeks of Remedial Training (RT), which can be a significant setback in terms of time and resources. RT can take place during weekends or weekdays, and can disrupt one's work or study schedule, as well as their personal life.

Therefore, training up for the IPPT and doing well on the test is crucial in order to avoid the need for RT. Additionally, maintaining a high level of physical fitness can have long-term benefits for an individual's health and well-being.

The 3-station IPPT consists of 3 main stations: Push-Ups, Sit-Ups, and the 2.4 km Run.

The Push-Up

One of our Personal Trainers, Jing Jie, performing the push-up with perfect form!
One of our Personal Trainers, Jing Jie, performing the push-up with perfect form!

The primary muscles involved in executing a proper push-up are the pectorals, the triceps and a strong core to maintain good posture during the movement.

For those who have difficulties doing regular push-ups, you can first start by including regressions into your training programme, such as push-ups on your knees or incline push-ups. These scaled options should allow you to maintain good form at a steady pace for a full minute as they decrease and simplify the metabolic demands of the exercise. This optimises motor learning and the recruitment of the correct primary muscle groups in performing the exercise, priming the body for subsequent progression to a standard push-up.

Our Master Trainer, Cameron, demonstrating Incline Push-ups on a box!
Our Master Trainer, Cameron, demonstrating Incline Push-ups on a box!

Other than doing push-ups and its various regressions, you can aim to train up your pectoral muscles and triceps by adding in relevant push exercises into your regular workout or gym routine. This would include exercises like the Barbell Bench Press and Dumbbell Chest Press to strengthen the chest muscles, and Cable Tricep Pushdowns and Dips to target the triceps!

Shukri training for his IPPT with his Personal Trainer, Jing Jie!
Shukri training for his IPPT with his Personal Trainer, Jing Jie!

Sample Workout Format:

Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets x 10 reps

Superset 1

Dumbbell Chest Press: 3 sets x 10 reps

Dips: 3 sets x 15 reps

Superset 2

Cable Tricep Pushdowns: 3 sets x 10 reps

Push-up: 3 sets x Max Reps

Rest 30-60s between sets

The Sit-Up

Our Head Trainer, Darryl, practising Sit-ups for the IPPT!
Our Head Trainer, Darryl, practising Sit-ups for the IPPT!

The sit-up primarily engages your core muscles, as well as your hip flexors. Therefore, core strength and endurance, and strong hip flexors are crucial for scoring well on this station. A strong core is also critical for maintaining good posture and proper form when executing other exercises, which in the context of IPPT involves the push-up and the 2.4 km run.

To enhance the strength of your core muscles, there are several core-focused exercises that you can add to your fitness routine, whether you prefer working out at the gym or doing bodyweight exercises after a run. Here are a few simple exercises recommended by our Personal Trainers that you can easily include in your workout regimen to strengthen your core!

Sample Workout Format:

3 sets, 45s of Work, 15s of Rest for each exercise

1. Sit-ups

2. Bird Dogs

3. V-ups

4. Reverse Crunches

5. Plank

Brandon Choo, our Master Trainer, working on his core with a plank!
Brandon Choo, our Master Trainer, working on his core with a plank!

The 2.4 km Run

The 2.4 km run is often the most dreaded, yet most important station of the IPPT as it carries the most points. Demanding both good cardiovascular fitness and lower-body muscular endurance, training for the run requires incorporating additional running splits into your training programme as well as strengthening of the lower body!

Cardiovascular Fitness

There are a few types of runs you can do to improve your cardiovascular fitness! You can first start by gradually increasing your weekly mileage, aiming for 3-4 runs per week.

1. Easy Run/Long Run

The goal of easy runs is to improve overall fitness and reduce the risk of injury by helping the body to adapt to the stresses of training. These runs are typically performed at a conservational pace, and you should be able to run and breathe easily during such runs. For easy runs, we recommend running at a pace 1-2min/km slower than your 2.4 km pace for 15-45 minutes!

As for long runs, they are simply an extension of easy runs to be performed once a week! For example, if your easy run during the week is 30 minutes long, target your long run to be 45 minutes.

2. Interval Training

Jing Jie going for a Tempo Run on the track!
Read on as Jing Jie shares more about Interval Training!

Interval training alternates periods of high-intensity effort with periods of rest, allowing you to achieve your target pace and adapt to the intensity while having sufficient rest in between sets! Doing such training at least once a week on the track will help condition your body for the real deal! After warming up, we recommend completing 4-5 sets of 200m at your 2.4 km pace with 60s of rest in between sets. Then, finish the workout with a 10-minute recovery run followed by static stretching. As you progress and get more conditioned, you can then increase the number of sets and distance!

Sample Interval Training Progression:

1st week: 4 x 200m, 60s rest

2nd week: 6-8 x 200m, 60s rest

3rd week: 4 x 400m, 90s rest

4th week: 6 x 400m, 90s rest

5th week: 8 x 400m, 90s rest

6th week: 10 x 400m, 90s rest

3. Tempo Run

Tempo runs are runs of sustained effort (RPE 6-8) that condition your body to be more efficient, so you can hold this pace for a longer period of time. These runs can last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or more, and are great for challenging both your physical and mental endurance. The pace for a tempo run should be easier than your 2.4 km pace (~15-30s slower), and you should aim to maintain this pace for 15-30 minutes in preparation for the IPPT.

For beginners, it is recommended that you start your IPPT training with 2 runs a week (1 easy and 1 long run). As you progress, you can then include another run to make up 3 runs a week (2 easy runs and a tempo run). For more advanced runners who are looking to beat their personal record or go for Gold, 4 runs per week are recommended (1 easy, 1 interval, 1 tempo, and 1 long run).

Strengthening of the Lower Body

In order to ace your 2.4 km run, it is also important to build up lower body strength and endurance!

Sample Workout Format:

Barbell Squats: 3 sets x 8 -12 reps

Split Squats: 3 sets x 8 - 12 reps

Romanian Deadlifts: 3 sets x 8-12 reps

Calf Raises: 3 sets x 10-15 reps

Our Trainer Mentor, Ming Tao, on Barbell Back Squats!
Our Trainer Mentor, Ming Tao, on Barbell Back Squats!

IPPT is coming up and you need the extra push to get a Gold? At FITLUC, our dedicated Personal Trainers will be there to guide you every single step of the way in your IPPT training and in your fitness journey as a whole. From customising a training programme tailored to your individual goals, to regular goal settings and revisions, exercise form correction and diet monitoring, Personal Training can make achieving your fitness goals easy and stress-free! Just leave it to us. All you need to do is show up!

So what are you waiting for? Drop us a WhatsApp message at +65 8812 0110 or book a personal training trial with one of our dedicated trainers to explore if personal training is the best choice for you!

Just a heads-up, engaging a PT will probably be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.



Looking for a Personal Trainer in Singapore? Look no further! At FITLUC, we specialise in In-Person and Online Personal Training, and we also offer house-call PT with a small additional fee. We currently base our Personal Training clients at a well-equipped gym just a stone's throw away from Outram Park MRT.

We are recognized as one of the Top 12 Best PT in Singapore and were featured on Mothership, The Straits Times, YES 93.3FM, Yahoo News, etc. Our Personal Trainers have worked with clients aged 13 – 84, from Celebrities to CEOs, working professionals and homemakers, with goals ranging from fat loss, weight loss, muscle gain to athletic performance and elderly training. Our celebrity clientele includes Maxi Lim, Hazelle Teo, Tayying, Lee Teng, Ze Tong, Benjamin Tan, Royce Lee and more.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay updated on our client stories and for more fitness tips from our Personal Trainers!


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