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IPPT Gold – Tips from DAC (NS) Mohammed Azhar bin Yusoff!

Getting Ship Shape for IPPT – Get your game face on with these tips! Inspirational example DAC (NS) Mohammed Azhar bin Yusof accepts no excuses.


Lack of time, DAC (NS) Azhar says, is the commonest reason cited for not exercising regularly and keeping fit – your IPPT results only reflect your lifestyle. “Fitness and health are our personal responsibilities. If you neglect them, you run the risk of various illnesses.” He urges all NSmen to consider the impact of not keeping fit on their loved ones as motivation.

Azhar himself works on general functional strength and fitness three times a week. He keeps things interesting by switching up his regime to match the various Most Supportive Division events he makes a point to participate in, like the Fitness Challenge. Having a strong, physical foundation also means one recovers from injuries much quicker, he says.


Common Mistakes

  • Doing push-ups too fast
  • Arching your back
  • Not breathing properly

Correct Technique

  • Keep your body stiff and straight, with your elbows at 45-degree angles away from your body
  • Breathe in on the way down, and breathe out on the way up
  • Lower your body until your chest gently touches the floor

Training Tips

  • Stretching the essential muscles – the biceps (upper arm), deltoids (shoulder) and pectorals (chest) – will help you avoid muscle strain and injury, and increase flexibility
  • Create good habits while training, so you don’t mess up during the actual test and get “no counts” for sub-standard reps
  • Work incrementally towards your target – each session should be an improvement on the last

Common Mistakes

  • Letting your back hit the ground too hard
  • Pulling your chin too far forward into the chest, and straining the neck

Correct Technique

  • Keep your knees bent at 90 degrees
  • Keep your feet flat on the ground
  • Tighten your abs, lifting first your head, then shoulders, while looking straight at your knees
  • Open your elbows while lowering, and touch the ground with your shoulder blades

Training Tips


  • Do crunches to strengthen the lower abs – this helps support the lower back
  • Strengthen your core with ab-focused exercises like leg lifts and standing trunk rotation
  • Do body-weight exercises to strengthen the back and shoulders – like planking, in all its possible variations
  • Up the ante by lifting small weights or working with gym equipment like dumbbells and suspension trainers


Training Tips

  • Be disciplined. Start at least six weeks before your actual IPPT
  • Slowly condition your body by running (not walking!) 3km a day at a casual, leisurely pace

    By Week 3

  • Keep up the leisurely runs
  • On alternate days, slot in some track work: 400m run → 2min rest → 200m sprint → 200m jog
  • Start adding five sets of 100m “speed shifts” into your 3km runs

By Week 4 or 5

  • Set yourself a time trial
  • Continue the easy runs right up to the day before the test



  • Spend at least 30min before the run stretching and warming up with some light jogging

Have fun working out! Your IPPT goals are now well within reach.

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15th March 2024
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