CPL (NS) Chris Shek: Would you take part in over 100 IPT sessions within a year?
NSmen are only required to undergo 10 IPPT Preparatory Training (IPT) sessions to meet their annual IPPT obligations, so what would inspire you to take part in over 100 of them?? A hefty monetary incentive? However, NSmen only receive Service Pay for up to 20 IPT sessions. Perhaps a challenge made by your friends, then? In the case of Corporal (CPL) (NS) Chris Shek, it was curiosity that motivated him to attend 103 IPT sessions between 2014 and 2015, and a whopping 116 between 2015 and 2016.
“I used to only do the standard 10 IPT sessions annually after my Operationally Ready Date (ORD) in early-2006, but I booked more in 2014 because I wanted to exercise more regularly to lose more weight,” explains the 33 year-old software specialist. “I think it was around my 40th session – I remember looking at my *attendance slip and wondering if it was possible for the attendance to go up to three digits.”
*an attendance slip indicates the number of IPT sessions and IPPT taken.
However, hitting over 100 IPT sessions was only the start – we sat down with CPL (NS) Shek to find out more about his unique IPT journey.
Let’s rewind a little – why did you volunteer for IPT after your ORD?
I always had trouble passing my Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) because of the Standing Broad Jump station [from the old IPPT format]. So when I first read about IPT in the newspapers when it was launched in October 2006, it looked like a better alternative that would help me prepare for IPPT, compared to taking up to 20 sessions of Remedial Training (RT).
Understand you have attended IPT by yourself and not with your friends – does it ever get boring?
Not at all – even though I’m not with my friends, I find that training as a group inspires me to exercise, as we’re going through the programme together. I’m actually less motivated when training by myself in the gym – I can feel that the intensity is lower.
Have you made new friends after so many IPT sessions?
Not really – we’re mostly focused on the training and people would normally stop coming once they fulfil their 10 sessions. If we do chat, it’s usually about how many IPT sessions we’ve done so far. It’s a topic I try to avoid because I’ve done so many IPT sessions – I’m not sure how they would react after finding out.
Is it always the same training routine and changes you would like to see in IPT?
There are various training programmes especially with the introduction of IPT-in-the-Park. Interestingly, I have tried various training regimes which I wouldn’t have experienced on my own. I got to try heavy rope training for the first time, and I remember we even did Yoga during one of the park training sessions.
You continue to take IPT even after achieving a Silver for IPPT?
My health is still my priority – I want to continue training and losing weight. I am currently around 80kg, but my ideal weight is around 70kg. That’s why I will miss IPT, because I’m going to be phased into MINDEF Reserve (MR) soon. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to maintain my weight-loss goals without the regular IPT sessions. I will need to find other alternatives now.
Last update: 28 Mar 2018