New physical training programme for IPPT is no cakewalk

New physical training programme for IPPT is no cakewalk

SINGAPORE - As someone who clocks two 7km runs a week, I thought that five-station metabolic circuit training at Maju Camp would not be a problem.

How wrong could I be?

The Clementi Road army camp has long been dreaded by unfit Operationally-Ready National Servicemen (NSmen), who must report there once or twice a week to be whipped into shape.

I joined 20 NS men for the newly revamped physical training programme, which aims to help them pass their Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT).

On a muggy Monday night, even the pulsating beats of electronic music coming from speakers did not seem to pump up any of my group.

The new-look IPPT Preparatory Training (IPT) programme appears more attractive with five different options to choose from: weight loss, aerobic, metabolic, IPPT-specific training and sports and games.

And with the latter including football or basketball, NSmen could be forgiven for thinking that things may have been made a little easier.

I chose metabolic and our group had to do seven repetitions at five stations, which makes up one set.

The fitness trainer tagged to me, Mr Tan Wei Xian, said I should try to complete five sets in 15 minutes.

I was quietly confident that I could hit that target.

But after thrusting medicine balls while executing star jumps, lifting kettlebells while doing half squats and doing wide-arm push-ups, crunches and burpees, I could already feel the strain.

I pushed on. Under the glare of Straits Times cameras chronicling my experience, there was no way of dodging the hard work.

I could feel that my arms were not lifting as high and I was shuffling rather than running, hoping that time would be up.

When the whistle was finally blown I had managed only two sets.

I was sweating, panting and seeing stars - but still the ordeal was not over.

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