Eat clean, train hard, score wellLTC Twelve Lim has scored 100 points for his IPPT four times! His secret? Healthy eating and regular training.
//Story by Teo Jing Ting
// Photos by Chai Sian Liang & courtesy of LTC Lim
During an annual health check-up in 2012, Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Twelve Lim found out that he had slightly high cholesterol – the health scare prompted him to change his diet and ramp up his fitness regime.
"I was actually quite surprised 'cos I've always been active! But with this diagnosis, I knew I had to exercise even more to keep my cholesterol within a healthy range," said LTC Lim wryly.
The 39-year-old Commanding Officer of Supply Base East is also keeping his diet clean – he has been avoiding his favourite kway chap as much as possible, doesn't eat red meat and sticks to three vegetable dishes when ordering cai png (economical rice).
On weekends, he either gets salad from local soup chain The Soup Spoon or eats poke bowls.
LTC Lim's efforts have paid off. He has achieved 100 points for his IPPT (Individual Physical Proficiency Test) four times – in 2016, 2019, 2021 and 2022.
For the uninitiated, IPPT consists of three stations: push-ups, sit-ups and 2.4km run. The maximum score for both push-up and sit-up stations is 25 while the highest score for 2.4km run is 50 points. Scoring 100 points for IPPT means getting full marks, which is no easy feat.
Find out how this father-of-two maintains a healthy lifestyle and training regime, as well as his secret to scoring well!
LTC Lim, what are your best IPPT scores to date?
LTC Lim: (laughing) Wah, I ran 9.14 minutes for 2.4km and was the top scorer (in 3rd Division) for the sit-up station – I did 70 in one minute. Both were in 2019.
That's amazing! So I guess you try to maintain your scores every year?
LTC Lim: Yeah, I treat every year as a new challenge. But it's not easy to maintain 'cos it depends on my schedule. If I'm particularly busy leading up to my IPPT period or I'm not in the pink of health, I cannot train as much and won't push myself to get full marks.
In fact, I wasn't confident of getting 100 points this year 'cos I got COVID-19 in February. I actually began training in January but had to restart my training after I recovered, so I postponed my IPPT test (the tests are usually held in April) to May to give myself more time to prepare.
What is your training regime usually like?
LTC Lim: During December, I'll start training my endurance. This gives me the foundation to build up my fitness.
Come February and March, I focus a lot on speed training. So I'll start with six rounds of 400m, where I'll run for 1.30min and rest for another 1.30min in between laps. I'll then transit to 8 x 400m, 4 x 800m and finally 3 x 1.2km.
Post-IPPT, I will run twice a week and do my usual physical training like core exercises, push-ups and sit-ups. I will run for minimally 25min at a leisure pace. I play football once a month and occasionally cycle with my friends, covering an average distance of 50km per ride.
What motivates you to keep fit and score well?
LTC Lim: I have two motivating factors – the first is to maintain my cholesterol level. As for the second, it's so that I can play football. I enjoy the feeling of being fit, running around the pitch without being out of breath when playing football. (laughs)
Tell us about your love of football!
LTC Lim: Back in secondary school, I wanted to join football as a CCA (Co-curricular activity) but I wasn't good enough. Then I decided to join badminton but was still unable to make the cut. So I ended up joining the magic club. But I still kept myself active and continued to play football for leisure.
In Secondary 2, I was asked to join the cross country team so I was there till Secondary 4. I didn't win any medals in inter-school competitions but I was usually among the top 20 for my school.
So playing football now is your way of making up for your unfulfilled dream?
LTC Lim: (laughs) Yah in a way.
Finally, what are your tips to score better in IPPT?
LTC Lim: Don't try out new stuff a few days before or even on the day of the test like wearing new shoes or testing out a new power gel. If you have never done it before, please don't do something new or different.
Also, stay away from spicy food and mala especially one day before your test. 'Cos these are the things that you'll be feeling in your stomach when you run. Instead, have some light bites like bread or oatmeal two hours before your test so that you'll have enough energy.