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The Best Workout Regimen to Prepare for Indian Army Physical Fitness Test

Every year, the Indian army conducts exams to choose top candidates capable of deserving the honor of safeguarding the motherland. The annual defence recruitment process of the Indian defence forces embodies core values of discipline, dedication, and commitment. An exam recognized for its intense nature & extreme selection process; it is conducted to select the finest candidates to serve in one of the world's most respected forces. Over the years, the Indian defence selection board has upgraded its evaluation criteria to choose exceptional candidates possessing a well-balanced combination of qualities and skills that differentiate them from the rest. The defence exam has 4 categories - Written, physical fitness, interview, and medical. Once the written exam is qualified, the candidates undergo a Physical fitness exam that tests their strength, endurance, physical and mental toughness, resilience, and flexibility. 

What is Indian Army Physical Fitness Exam? 

The Indian defence selection board has set specific physical fitness standards to assess the physical fitness of the candidates. To qualify for the test, prospective soldiers compete with fellow candidates and demonstrate a high level of fitness and competency in multiple criteria to meet the physical standards required by the defense forces. Since the Indian army physical training is identified as being intense beyond imagination, every candidate should prepare themselves and develop a 'come what may' mindset.  

The candidates are assessed based on their performance in 3 different physical activities: 

  • 1600m Race/Running 

  • Pull-ups 

  • Balancing & Long Jump 

To achieve their dream of becoming an asset in safeguarding the security and interests of their country, candidates start preparing as early as 15 years of age. It helps them acclimate to the extreme prerequisites of the defence exam and military training routine. 

How to prepare for the Physical Fitness Test? 

Before you commence your preparation, every candidate needs to create a roadmap that ensures their excellence in three central disciplines - endurance, strength, and speed. Mastering these three domains elevates a candidate's probability of scoring well in the exam and contributing to the nation's well-being.  

Following is a workout regimen for defence aspirants to make themselves competent and improve their chances of selection.  

  1. Morning Routine 

Your daily morning workout routine should start with waking up as early as 4:30 am, drinking lukewarm lemon water, and getting fresh. The first activity of the regimen begins with a warm-up that may include stretching, cycling, and swimming for 30 minutes, followed by running training for 40- 50 minutes without stopping. Activities such as cycling and swimming will increase your stamina and cardiovascular endurance. On the other hand, running non-stop for 50 minutes will enhance tactical readiness and prepare the candidate to achieve the mandated running distance within the designated time limit. 

Upon completing the running routine, candidates should relax for 15-20 minutes and focus on core strength exercises. The following is a brief list of core strength exercises that can be performed for about 30 to 40 minutes as part of your overall fitness routine. 

  • Plank 

3 sets of 30-60 seconds hold for front planks and side planks on each side. 

  • Crunches 

3 sets of 15-20 repetitions 

  • Hanging Leg Raises 

3 sets of 10-15 repetitions 

  • Russian Twists 

3 sets of 30 twists (15 on each side) 

  • Push-ups 

2 sets of 20-30 push-ups 

  • Step Ups 

3 sets of 10 to 15 step-ups per leg  

After completing the core strength exercises, candidates should execute static stretches as a part of the cooling down session to enhance flexibility and decrease muscle tension after the workout. The colling period of 10 minutes should be centered around stretching major muscle groups, including hamstrings, calves, shoulders, and back. 

(Please note that this list is subjective and can be modified per the physical needs of the candidate) 

  1. Evening Routine 

Candidates should ensure that their evening routine complements their morning routine to enhance physical performance and mental resilience. It is because the air force, navy, and army fitness workout routines test the limits of candidates and push them to their limits to prepare them for the extreme physical demands.  

  • Warm-up (5-10 minutes) 

  • Cardio activities like running, cycling, and swimming (20 minutes) 

  • Core strength exercise, including crunches, bicycle crunches, leg raises, etc. (15 minutes) 

  • Cool Down 


From surviving in the scorching heat of the Thar to battling the freezing temperatures of Siachen, soldiers prepare themselves for the unthinkable extreme! Therefore, candidates are tested for their mental, physical, emotional, and psychological capabilities to judge their ability to survive and serve despite the severity and absurdity of conditions. By following a consistent roadmap, candidates can enhance their probability of serving in the defence forces and protecting the nation with all their might.

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