Passing your Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) with flying colours means the right preparation. It involves the additional care that you give your body the night before and on the day of your test. Fitness Tutor founder Dr Paul Kuck recommends tips that’ll not only give you an extra edge come test day, but could well save your life.
Make sure you’re properly hydrated
More than half of the human body is made of water. Each day electrolytes – sodium and potassium – are lost in urine, sweat, and stool. They must be replaced by what we eat or drink. When we do not get enough water, we become dehydrated, which means we lose circulating water volume and our body does not get enough electrolytes, that enables it to function properly. Dehydration can lead to death or cause brain damage.
Sleep for at least seven hours
The IPPT is a strenuous activity. Depriving it of enough rest means your body and mind may not be able to perform effectively. Not only will you jeopardise your performance, you also run the risk of injuring yourself because you’re not able to concentrate on what you’re doing.
Don’t overdo the caffeine
It’s proven that drinking caffeinated drinks (e.g. Red Bull or coffee) improves cardiovasular actvities (e.g. the 2.4-km run) when taken about one hour before the test. However, a higher caffeine intake (exceeding two cups) will not cause elevated improvement in performance. You put your body at risk of increased blood pressure, anxiety, elevated heart rate and increased urine production which increasing the risk of dehydration.
Eat well two to three hours before the test
A proper diet is important. A nutritious meal a few hours before the test can be very helpful. Your meal should consist mainly of carbohydrates (e.g. rice or bread). About half an hour before test, take a small fruit (a banana is ideal) to give your body a last-minute fuel charge.