Getting fit and staying in shape has become everyone’s No 1 priority. And for good reason. Our lifestyles don’t allow us to stay fit naturally, so we’re required to be proactive. Now, no one will raise eyebrow at a 5- or 7-days-a-week gym schedule. This means that there are more people than ever who are capable of physical feats of stamina and strength that make the rest of us desk jockeys want to get out there and go for a run. But everything comes in stages and, as fit as you might be, there’s always space for improvement. One benchmark that’s surely impressive is that of a newly-recruited Officer Cadet at the Officers Training Academy. These young men and women must be able to meet a certain fitness requirement which serves to ensure that they’ll easily be able to overcome the challenges they face in the field when it comes to protecting the nation. Do you think you’re as fit as a future guardian of the country? Take the test today (it’s Army Day, after all) and find out.

Basic Cardio

If you’re going to join the army, you should be well-prepared in terms of stamina. The most basic fitness test is your running test. The distance? 2.4 kilometres (1 mile). While that may not seem like much to the average fitness enthusiast, remember that this is the army we’re talking about. This means that you have a stipulated time limit in which to complete the test. Men get 10 minutes to cover this distance (run speed: 14.4 kmph) and women must complete the run in 13 minutes and 30 seconds (run speed: 10.7 kmph) Looks like it’s time to turn up that treadmill speed, people, because this is just the minimum standard.

Core Strength Tests

To ensure that newly-admitted officers are capable of the long hauls they’ll come up against in the future, the army needs to know that your core strength is at its prime. In the field, you’ll be expected to carry heavy weights around with you – your survival kit, rations, weapon and other essential items can’t exactly be sent to your destination by courier when you’re stationed in Siachen. Stage one of your core strength testing consists of the sit ups test. Men have to be able to do a minimum of 30 sit ups, while women are expected to complete at least 25. Stage two is the much-dreaded push ups test. Men need to hit at least 40 reps, while women must complete a minimum of 10 reps. Once again, remember that these are just minimum requirements and that there’s no such thing as a core that’s too strong. Oh, and did we mention that this is right after the run?

Strength Training

So, you’re done with the run, sit ups and push ups. Par for the course for someone who puts a priority on fitness. But, wait, there’s more – this is the army we’re talking about, and they put the intensity in HIIT. Don’t give up just yet, because we’re almost at the end now. The final test will be one of strength – chin ups. Men have to get up and over that bar at least 6 times, while women should be able to complete 2 reps. Have you made it successfully through the test? Congratulations! You are now as fit as a newly-joined Officer Cadet at the OTA.

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