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.