how i passed my first ippt

How I Passed My First IPPT In My Last Window

The last time I passed a physical test was getting a bronze in my primary school NAPFA test. One month before I MR, I managed to get a Pass with Incentive for my IPPT in the last week of February with 36 push-ups, 31 sit-ups and 13:56 for my 2.4km run at 32 years old. Assuming my static stays constant, I just need 15:40 to pass, which is a very achievable timing. Besides push-ups, I did not train for the 2.4km and sit-ups portion. I did not even do a test run of the IPPT test. I was just aiming for a pass but when I finished my first round at 2:09, I realized I had a reasonable chance at a Pass with Incentive.

My results isn’t impressive but I think I did pretty ok for someone who pass my last physical test in primary school, more than 20 years ago. If I can pass my IPPT, I believe that everyone (barring injuries and disabilities) can attain the passing requirements of the “new” 3-station IPPT test with some effort. Even if you do not want to do it for the money, you should do it for general health and fitness. In this blog, I will share some pointers that helped me pass my IPPT.

Lose Fat, Gain Strength & Endurance

If you are too heavy, you are heavily disadvantaged, especially if your excess weight is from fat. You will need to lose fat AND gain strength. It is more efficient to lose fat as compared to training if you are overweight. Additionally, you will lower the risk of injury if training at a lower weight, especially on running. But this doesn’t mean that you don’t do any strength training. You can do both at the same time with a focus on fat loss. If I didn’t lose some of my excess fat, I don’t think I will be able to pass. For reference, in April 2022, my BMI was 32.1. I passed my IPPT with a BMI of 26.8 in February 2023.

If your excess weight comes from muscles instead of fat, you probably don’t have difficulty passing your IPPT unless you have endurance issues, and then you have to focus on that.

While if you are at a normal weight or underweight, you will have an advantage as you just have to gain strength and endurance.

For both groups, you will need to get your nutrition in check.

Overweight Caloric Deficit (~500kcal)

Sufficient protein (~1 – 1.5g/kg of body weight)

Normal / Underweight Caloric Surplus (~300 – 500kcal)

Sufficient protein (~1 – 1.5g/kg of body weight)

Stick To A Training Program

Just doing randomly some runs, push-ups, sit-ups might help you pass if your fitness is already up there, but having a training program provides a systematic way to help us achieve our goals more reliably. If we just rely on “feel”, it can be hard to see progress as it is inconsistent and we might stop before we should. You might feel tired at 15 reps on some days and 25 reps on some days. If you stop at 15 reps when you need to do 25 reps, you can see how it can be difficult to improve.

To reliably improve, we will need to progressive overload. Progressive overload is a training technique that systematically increases your training intensity over time.

For static stations, we can try to increase the number of reps or sets or decrease rest time every 1 – 2 weeks to build up your capacity to do more reps. For the run, we can increase the distance or timing of our runs during training. If we are unable to complete what we set out to do, we can add an additional set to complete our reps or check if your goals are unrealistic or take a day/week off. Injury prevention should also take priority.

However, if we base our training on “feel”, we will just stop once we feel tired, which can be inconsistent and less than what we can actually do.

It won’t be a fast process but you should see your performance improve. The amount of time before seeing yourself pass might take months or even years if you have a lot of weight to lose.

How To Set Up A Training Plan

You can take the following steps to set up your own training plan

  1. Decide your goals (weight loss, muscle gain, pass IPPT, keep fit)
  2. Identify exercises progressions that you can do and achieve your goals
  3. Plan which exercises to do each day with rest days between each muscle group
  4. Test your baseline for the various exercises
  5. Take 50 – 70% of that baseline and do sets of it
  6. Make exercise more difficult every 1 – 2 weeks (more reps, more sets, faster timing, less rest)
  7. If can’t cope with increased difficulty, continue on last difficulty for another week
  8. Review after 8 – 12 weeks

Alternatively, you can just grab one online. There are plenty of resources out there. You can just google “goal” + training plan. I suggest doing something you don’t hate or even better, something you enjoy or else it will be unsustainable and your achievements will disappear after temporarily reaching your goals.

Sample Of My Training Program

Mon 6 sets bodyweight rows spread across the day

6 sets AMRAP hollow body crunches with 3 minutes rest

10k steps

Tue 6 sets push-ups spread across the day

10k steps

Wed 6 sets squats spread across the day

10k steps

Thur 6 sets bodyweight rows spread across the day

6 sets AMRAP hollow body crunches with 3 minutes rest

10k steps

Fri 6 sets push-ups spread across the day

10k steps

Sat Hiking for 1 – 2 hours
Sun Rest day

I started my training program on 2 January 2023 and stopped the week before my IPPT test (about 7 weeks). Here is my progress from the first week to the last week of training.

2 JAN 23 13 FEB 23
Mon / Thu 6 x 6 bodyweight rows 6 x 11 bodyweight rows
Tue / Fri 6 x 12 push-ups 6 x 24 push-ups
Wed 6 x 12 bodyweight squats 6 x 15 squats with 12.5kg

Training Specificity

Besides push-ups, I did not specifically train for running and sit-ups. For the 2.4km portion, I did 10k daily steps, stair climbing (only did when I felt like it), hiking and squats. While for sit-ups, I did knee raises hanging from a bar (only did when I felt like it) and hollow body crunches on my bed.

My main goal was fitness and doing fun callisthenics moves, so if I am able to pass my IPPT at the same time, it will be a bonus. I did not want to do something I did not enjoy (running and sit-ups) and won’t be able to continue doing it in the long term. Even if you don’t train for the specific exercise, there will be some carryover strength from training the muscles required.

If your main goal is to score well at IPPT, it will be the most efficient to train specifically for the specific exercises.

Here is an inexhaustive list of exercises that can, directly and indirectly, improve your IPPT results.

IPPT Test Fitness Attributes Required
Push-ups Chest, Triceps, Core
Exercises Push-ups


Bench Press

Core exercises

Sit-ups Core
Exercises Sit-ups


Leg raise

Flutter kicks

Hollow body


Glute bridges

2.4KM Run Cardio, Lower Body Strength, Core
Exercises Jogging/Running

Stair climbing






Core exercises

IPPT-Specific Training Program

If you want a training program that is more specific for IPPT, here is something I cooked up.

Mon 3 sets of push-ups

3 sets of sit-ups

3.2km endurance jog

Tue Take stairs home

Walk more

Wed 3 sets of push-ups

3 sets of sit-ups

6 x 400m interval training

Thu Take stairs home

Walk more

Fri 4 sets of push-ups

4 sets of sit-ups

3.2km endurance jog

Sat / Sun Rest

There are many different training programs out there that you can reference. I suggest including some back exercises as this muscle group is lacking from our IPPT.

Feel free to adjust it based it based on your

  • Ability – increase/reduce number of sets/reps/difficulty(progression/regression)
  • Available free time – do it one-shot or spread across the day
  • Recovery required – increase/reduce rest time or the number of rest days or split the exercises up

Familiarize Yourself With The Scoring System

The current IPPT system has 3 stations, push-ups, sit-ups and the 2.4km run in this sequence. The maximum points for push-ups and sit-ups is 25 points each while the maximum points for 2.4km run are 50 points. The pointing system will also shift according to your age group, the older you are, the easier it is.

Award Points
Pass ≥ 51
Pass With Incentive ≥ 61
Silver ≥ 75
Gold ≥ 85
Gold (Commando, Diver, Guards) ≥ 90

yctay ippt scorer

Source: yctay

I use this IPPT calculator website to check out the different scores, to see which awards are attainable and to strategize.

Strategize The Combination Of Points Required

If you have one or more stations that you are better at, you can key in the forecasted number in the IPPT calculator and then play around with the number of points you need for the weaker stations. For example, if you are confident of 30 push-ups and 30 sit-ups, you will be able to aim for a certain time for your 2.4km run.

If you are not good at any of the stations, don’t feel dejected as this means that you will be able to improve quickly from a lower baseline.

You should also be familiar with the scoring system of the rep range near your goal reps. For example, if you think you can do at least 32 reps, you should know how many more reps you need to do to get additional points. It might take you 3-4 reps more just to get another point. If you don’t think you can do another 3-4 reps, you should stop to save some energy or if you know you are very close to the next tier, you should try to push through.

After the static stations, you will need to check what is your 2.4km timing needed and you can pace yourself accordingly by calculating your timing required per round. Your first few rounds will need to be faster than your average timing required as your last few rounds will typically be slower.

What Would I Do Differently?

Technically, I wouldn’t do anything different from my training program as I was training for health. However, there is one thing I would pay more attention to during the test. During training, I didn’t time my sets so I just did them till I complete the workout. I rested in a push-up position until I was ready to continue my workout. I also did not rush through my reps during training.

For push-ups, I believe it was near my max at 36 reps but for sit-ups, I still had a few reps in me but time was up. I did my sit-ups at a comfortable pace at about 1 second up and 1 second down. There is only a 1-minute time limit for both sit-ups and push-ups so time is quite tight. If I did the test again, I would like to speed up my reps, take note of the time left and not stop for too long.

What Would I Do Differently If I Wanted A Better Score?

However, if getting more points is my objective, I would do training that is more IPPT-specific.

Stations Exercises
Push-ups 3 x push-up training a week

Do 70 push-ups each workout in as few sets as possible

1-2 minutes of rest between sets

Sit-ups 3 x sit-up training a week

Do 70 sit-ups each workout in as few sets as possible

1-2 minutes of rest between sets

2.4km Run 2 x 3.2km endurance jogs per week

1 x 6 x 400m interval runs per week


I passed my first IPPT in my last window before I MR. I achieved this by losing weight, following a training program and being familiar with the IPPT scoring system. If I wanted to do better, I would take better note of the 1-minute time limit of the static stations and do training that is more IPPT-specific.

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