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Chin up, IPPT's not so bad

Run 2km? Easy.

Forty push-ups? Nothing to fret over.

Fifty sit-ups? No sweat.

Now do all three back to back with no breaks.

Add a tough scoring system where the run accounts for 70 per cent of the total score and you have the Israeli Defence Force Fitness test.

I have regular gym workouts and occasionally jog around my HDB estate, so I thought: "This should still be a piece of cake."

How wrong I was.

The run started fine, but after three laps around the track, I wasn't so sure.

Fatigue was setting in and my legs were beginning to feel like lead.

Worse was that nagging thought: "You're not done after this, you still have two levels of hell left."

By the time I completed the run, every push-up felt like torture.

Sit-ups were more manageable, but not by much.

In the end, I passed by a mere two points, with 57/100.

It was a humbling experience.

The Israeli test took so much out of me that I suffered through the 2.4km run in the IPPT the next morning.

While I had clocked just below nine minutes in the 2km run, I took almost four minutes more to run the extra 400m in the IPPT 2.4km.

If I had gone in fresh for the IPPT, I would say that it would have been much easier.

The Israeli testpushes you to the limits of your endurance and stretches your willpower to extreme levels.

But the IPPT, with its wider test spectrum, allows for a more complete analysis of a person's strengths.

- COLIN THAM