"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 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.
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!
Sample Workout Format:
Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets x 10 reps
Dumbbell Chest Press: 3 sets x 10 reps
Dips: 3 sets x 15 reps
Cable Tricep Pushdowns: 3 sets x 10 reps
Push-up: 3 sets x Max Reps
Rest 30-60s between sets
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
2. Bird Dogs
4. Reverse Crunches
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!
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
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
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!
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