Putting in the work for a 100-point IPPTEven before joining the Army, LTA Muhammad Irfan had already set his sights on getting full marks for his IPPT.
Story by Teo Jing Ting // Photos by Lionel Lee & courtesy of LTA Irfan
Inspired by his National Service (NS) buddy who had scored full marks for IPPT (Individual Physical Proficiency Test), Lieutenant (LTA) Muhammad Irfan decided to aim for the same.
Hungry for his own 100 points, he began training in earnest almost half a year before joining the Army as a Regular. After completing his NS in February 2021, the 25-year-old started training four times a week as he wanted to score 100 points for his first IPPT as a Regular.
"I started my training in June 2021. This was when I was working part-time while waiting for the results of my posting to my unit as a Regular.
"Rain or shine, I was doing interval runs four times a week at Bedok Stadium," said the platoon commander from 2nd Battalion, Singapore Infantry Regiment (2 SIR), who joined the Army in October 2021.
His efforts paid off and he succeeded on his first attempt in April 2022. Find out how he did it!
LTA Irfan, what made you aim for the 100 points?
LTA Irfan: I'd never scored 100 points before. I just wasn't the fastest runner and my weakest station is the 2.4km run. When I was a platoon commander (PC) in Basic Military Training Centre during my NS, my Officer Commanding and my fellow PC scored 100 points. Seeing them train hard for it motivated me so I wanted to do the same for myself.
How is your training schedule like?
LTA Irfan: Wah, it was really tough! I trained up to four times a week – thrice on weekdays and once during the weekend when I was still working from home.
For my 7 x 400m runs, I sprint for 1min 25s and rest for the same duration before starting again. For 15 x 200m runs, I will sprint for 35 seconds and rest between 45 to 60 seconds depending on how I feel – this was the toughest interval.
My last interval training is a combination of distances – 2 x 1.6km, 3 x 800m and 4 x 400m with a rest ratio of 1:1.
Once I was posted to 2 SIR, I train in camp on weekdays and do interval runs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Bedok Stadium.
I heard that you also received tips on how to better train for IPPT?
LTA Irfan: At that time, my Sergeant Major was also training for 100 points. He told me to do a mix of long-distance runs and intervals instead of purely doing interval runs.
That was a game-changer as my 2.4km timing was plateauing, so I was grateful for his tip. He also told me to include static exercises.
So what kind of static exercises did you do?
LTA Irfan: I will do push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups. After my runs, I will do 4 x 60 push-ups and sit-ups, and 3 x 15 pull-ups.
That sounds so tough! Were there days that you don't feel like training?
LTA Irfan: Yes! (laughs) Sometimes when I wake up and see how hot the weather is, it's the worst feeling ever. But I reminded myself of how badly I wanted to score 100 points. So I just bit the bullet and dragged myself out of the house.
So how did you feel when you scored full marks?
LTA Irfan: I felt a great sense of achievement! Honestly, I never expected to achieve it so it felt really good to see my hard work paid off.
Now that you've succeeded, what are your tips to scoring better for IPPT?
LTA Irfan: Interval training is key. It helps you run faster and makes you want to push on further. It also helps to build momentum when running, which is important for the 2.4km.
Remind yourself that every time you step on the track, you need to improve on your timing. The training may be tough, but it's going to be all worth it.