S’pore Army to make IPPT format simpler. But simpler does not mean easier.
Would you rather do push-ups or pull-ups?
It appears the Singapore Army will be reducing the number of IPPT (Individual Physical Proficiency Test) stations after a serious study of how other militaries get by using fewer tests and still maintaining fitness standards of their troops, Today reported on June 30, 2014 as part of the yearly pre-July 1 SAF Day media blitzkrieg.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen had revealed this change to the IPPT at his annual SAF Day interview on June 24, 2014.
Singapore has stuck to five stations since the IPPT was launched in 1979. Some 116,000 Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) personnel take the test annually as part of the requirement to be a bona fide Singaporean Son.
The test format has remained unchanged since 1982. Servicemen are required to go through five tests: Sit-ups, standing broad jumps, pull-ups, 4×10 m shuttle run and the much-dreaded 2.4 km run.
“We are among the few militaries that use five. Others use three, some more, but a majority among the militaries actually use simpler tests because it’s simpler to administer and simpler to train for.”
“So (the) Army is again, in the last legs of evaluating and trying to see whether we can come up with simpler tests.”
However, Ng did emphasise that simpler tests do not mean easier tests. He said:
“We want a fit SAF, we want fit NSmen. I mean that’s something which we must have so that we can have a fit military. But I think in keeping with the national psyche and psyche of a younger generation, we also want to move away from it being seen as an imposition or a test to something which is a lifestyle.”
The US army, for example, has a simpler test format with three stations: Push-ups for two minutes, sit-ups for two minutes and a timed 3.2 km run.
Those in their 20s undergoing the US army’s test ought to be able to do 60 to 70 reps for push-ups and sit-ups in two minutes and complete the 3.2 km run in 20 minutes or so.
Top photo from here