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Possible tweaks 'make IPPT better'

Going by responses from experts, the possible changes being considered by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) may result in a better gauge of fitness.
Asia One - October 24, 2013
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Possible tweaks 'make IPPT better'

The Straits Times reported yesterday that, among the changes being considered, one was to make soldiers run a longer distance of 3.2km, instead of the current 2.4km, in their annual fitness test.

The Singapore Army said on Facebook yesterday that the SAF constantly reviews its training system and "there has not been any decision to change" the IPPT system.

Even so, many of the experts who looked at the possible changes flagged in the report gave them the thumbs up.

They said these could, among other things, minimise the risk of injury and over-exertion.

If the running distance was increased, for example, experts believed that soldiers would be given more time to complete the segment at a more moderate pace.

The report mentioned that SAF was also considering scrapping the standing-broad-jump requirement and adding a new push-up criterion.

There are five categories in the current IPPT - sit-ups, standing broad jump, chin-up, a 4x10m shuttle run and a 2.4km run.

Exercise physiologist Ray Loh from Tan Tock Seng Hospital's Sports Medicine and Surgery Clinic said a 3.2km run is a better test of aerobic fitness.

While well-trained runners can complete 2.4km within nine minutes, a 3.2km run would require more than 10 minutes, he noted.

Mr Loh explained that it is at the 10-minute mark that "aerobic-energy contribution increases, while anaerobic-energy contribution reduces significantly".

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