How Should I Train Before Enlisted into National Service in Singapore
Tips & Tricks on how you can fully prepare yourself before national service.
It is without a doubt that every male in Singapore will have to eventually serve National Service (NS) regardless. As long as you are 16 years old and above Singaporean or Permanent Resident (PR), serving the nation becomes inevitable.
A deferment is an option, but how long can you honestly delay before the government officially "forces" you to serve? Instead of attempting to delay, why not ready yourself for the worst situation in the best possible shape? Trust me, you will eventually thank us instead of complaining.
Knowing Your Limits
Before you begin training, it is best to recognise your limits accordingly as this allows you to have knowledge of your personal overall fitness. If possible, include a full body health screening to make that you are fighting fit to start training. Besides, it could even prevent any future health incidents from happening.
There is always somewhere to start from despite being either a couch potato or a battle-ready person. It would be good to start with a simple week's schedule of the necessary exercises that needed to be trained on. Study research has proven that just exercising 5 - 10 minutes at a moderate pace is healthy enough (maximum 5 hours). Short runs are considered to be the best way to risk major health conditions but also boost the immune system while increasing lung functions and use.
Of course, motivate yourself with a perfect workout playlist to pump yourself into staying on task every day!
Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT)
Did I mention about your IPPT?
Yes, IPPT is a standard physical fitness test used to test the basic components of physical fitness and motor skills, and some of you will have to take it in advance to your Basic Military Training (BMT). No worries, everyone else who did not take it will eventually go through the same test. In time, there will even be incentives to claim depending on which award you are able to achieve. Nevertheless, training is necessary as this does not come to anyone easily.
Lucky for you, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) tweaked the new performance standards for IPPT back in 1st April 2015, in which the new three-station (Push-ups, Sit-ups & 2.4KM Run) will replace the current five-station (Chin-ups, Sit-ups, Standing Broad Jumps, 4x10m Shuttle Run & 2.4KM Run). Therefore, if your fitness goal is simply to pass, you can train specifically to do well which generally mean you have good overall fitness by then.
If your fitness goal is simply to pass, you are missing the entire point of the testing. Yes, you are able to train specifically and it still determines that you have good overall fitness. However, it is still important to have a solid foundation of your total health as well. There are three disciplines that needed to be focused on, they are 'Upper Body Strength and Endurance', 'Core Strength and Endurance' and 'Cardiovascular Speed and Endurance'.
Unfortunately, there are no secrets in training push-ups but you will have to master the traditional push-up technique and then constantly practice with a variety of push-up styles into your routine.
Examples such as:
- Clap push-ups
- Incline push-ups
- Decline push-ups
- Diamond push-ups
- Eccentric push-ups
- Plyometric push-ups
This does not include "sitting-up" from your bed every morning. Sit-ups require more discipline than push-ups as you need excellent abdominal and hip flexor strength and endurance. Unlike only doing traditional sit-ups, it is much recommended to focus on other varieties of ab and core exercises.
Examples such as:
- Leg Raises
- Knee Raises
- Flutter Kicks
There are no shortcuts or window of opportunity to cheat in the 2.4KM run.
These are a few workout plans to try:
- 100m Strides
- Strides are 100m accelerations build to about 95% of your maximum speed and then gradually slow down
- Strides can be easily slotted in between as this workout simulates the last lap of the 2.4km run.
- NOTE: This explosive workout meant to tire you out! Discipline yourself!
- This workout alternates between running slow and fast.
- Running 200m at a moderate pace transiting into a 200m slow jog, and then back to being fast.
- NOTE: This allows the mind to know how different paces feel.
- Set your personal target (minimum 6 laps)
- Go all out for every 400m set and take a 1 to 1 rest ratio in between each set to let your heart rate settle but not to a point of recovery.
- NOTE: The idea is to continue pushing when the going gets tough.
- What else is there to say? Just test how fast or slow your total 2.4KM timing is and then continue working on both your running posture or running speed!
The last thing you need is being injured. There are situations where a healthy person still succumbs to cardiac arrest along the way. Pay attention to your body and any unusual feeling of pain. Here are some safety tips to follow:
- Learn the warning signs of sports injuries and how to treat sports injuries
- Necessary preparation for training
- Appropriate outfits should be worn
- Stay hydrated at all times
- Smokers, Diabetic, Hypertension/Elevated Cholesterol Levels please take note of your health levels
Small things do matter! Do not risk yourself of any injuries that may cause you to regret in the future. We hope that these tips & tricks are able to help you prepare before entering the national service in Singapore.