Physical Fitness – The Making of a Superman

by Uday Kumar on August 20, 2012

Hi everyone. The response I received for my last two posts have been fantabulous! ( a combination of fantastic and fabulous – until recently I didn’t know!!). The number of visits has seen an all time high and has encouraged me to write more on topics which are indirectly affecting your performance in SSB and your life. Now I present to you an article which has provoked me to start this blog and whose explanations no matter how many times I give in this blog, you my dear readers have been asking me about it again and again. So here I present to you- ‘PHYSICAL FITNESS – The Making of a Superman’

On an average I get about 10 questions everyday in these following lines:

  • How much distance do we have to run in an SSB?
  • How many pull ups do I have to do in an SSB?
  • Am I supposed to do situps and push ups in SSB?
  • I do not play any games. Will I be selected? etc

If you notice carefully as to why such questions are asked everyday, you will find that they are asked by those who are physically not fit!! In our society physical exercises and fitness has taken the farthest seat behind. Thereby resulting in a mass reduction in the number of fit individuals in our society.

By the time you finish school and college you are bound to be either overweight or underweight. Physical activities are a far cry in today’s world. With television, internet, video games, books, novels, chatting, texting, what’s up, facebook, twitter, etc have made the necessity to go outside and play some physical games and entertain yourself NIL.

Those who are actually bothered about their health go to gym. They call themselves fitness freaks. They take physical exercise as a medicine or a treatment to be healthy and so they hit the gym. The fun in playing a game, an outdoor activity like trekking, camping, fishing, horse riding, swimming, rock climbing,etc is all lost to those who go the gym.

Coming to the point of discussion, the world today is physically very unhealthy. The unhealthy food, unhealthy lifestyle and unhealthy environment has all led to the culmination of a unhealthy and physically unfit person. So it is natural for them to ask me if they will be tested for their physical fitness. They are afraid that they will not be able to clear it.

To all of them let me tell you,”There are no Physical Tests conducted in the SSB interview!!”. Do not get confused to Medical tests to physical test. Medical tests are a set of general medical examinations like eye test, audiometry test, height to weight ratio, chest expansion tests, abdomen scan, urine test, blood test etc. So there is nowhere we are planning to tell you to run or do push ups or situps.

“Are You Happy Now ?”. If YES, then don’t be. Because as soon as you land in the Academy we are going to make you do all these. So the Transition starts from the day you set foot in the Academy.

Let me tell you my own example. When I joined the academy I was by all standards any Indian mother would have called me a healthy kid.

Trust me only God knows how I cleared my medicals. Born and brought up with a strong apetite and a very sweet tooth. I would rather sit and study in my games period in school rather go out in the hot sun and play some cricket or any game for that matter.

But let me tell you nobody had told me point blank on my face that I was fat or chubby. People only complemented me that I was healthy and other aunties used to give me as an example to their kids and say,”See how healthy he is. He is such a good boy!!”

But sooner or later my so called healthy body was put to test on the first week of joining Academy. I got the real shock of my life, when I could not do even a single situp nor pullup. The realization that I was chubby and not healthy dawned on me very soon. The fact that I couldn’t do any of the physical activity required in the academy hit me like a meteorite. I cursed my mother for having called me healthy all these years. I cursed my parents for making me so fat. I even felt a conspiracy behind making me so fat and unfit. I almost gaveup. I felt this was not my cup of tea.

But the Academy was not going to giveup on me so easily. The system is very efficient in the Academy that it takes care of everyone and anyone with any problem/shortcoming. I was taken very good care at the hands of my seniors. The divisional officers had an extremely good foresight and felt the need to make me fit was as important as National Security. Because if I did not clear my Physical Tests, firstly I would be relegated (fail my semester on physical fitness grounds) and secondly my squadron would get negative points in its overall performance.

My whole Squadron (don’t ask me which) was tasked to reduce my weight and make me fit. Soon yours truly was at the mercy of all seniors who took the task upon themselves very very seriously to accomplish the greatest task of their lifetime – ‘The Making of Superman’.

Soon I was seen everywhere. From parade ground to pull up bars, from ropes to walls. I would say that I was fortunate enough to set my hand and foot on every thing that stood still and everything that I could.

Climbing ropes was one of the most tiresome exercises. When I expressed that to one of my seniors, he ensured that I stay on top of the rope and make it my second home. There was one particular senior who could not beleive the fact that I could not run more than 1 km continuosly and felt that I was deliberately not running. He voluntarily became my running incharge. My training became their preamble. Slowly and steadily I became everyone’s responsibility. I didn’t know why they felt such a strong obligation to make me fit.

It was extremely difficult or may be even impossible to escape 200 eyes looking for me. From the time I used to wake up to till the time I went bed at night, I was literally on my toes. Slowly and steadily I started showing some improvement after 1 month of joining. My push ups graduated from 10 to 25 and from 25 to 50 in no time.

Very soon I lost count of the pushups that I was doing. I was doing pushups time based. My running improved so much that in my fifth term (semester) I set an Academy Record (thanks to that senior who ran with me through out my first semester). Climbing Ropes became so natural that even the fastest orangutan would not dare compete with me. 🙂

Soon I found myself extremely fit. I could do things I could not even imagine ever doing. The icing on the cake was the fact that I even did a few gymnastic stunts. I was fit and agile. I envied myself. But Yes, any day any Indian mother would call me malnourished and about to die. My mother was particularly very upset when she saw me for the first time after joining academy, after all the ghee and butter she fed me all these years has gone down the drain.

The point to be noted here is that I did everything. I ran, I played, I did horse riding, I did swimming, I ran camps in jungle, I did trekking, I was flying on top of horse (gymnastic equipment- not the four legged one!!), I did boxing, I always carried my bicycle (literally) and above all I became FIT and so I became THE SUPERMAN.

It is no exaggeration if I would say that, I owe my life to the Academy for making me so fit. I BECAME A SUPERMAN!! For me being physically fit became a part of my life.

Had it not been the Academy I would not have become so fit and I could not have pulled my fitness levels for so many years. Also the Armed Forces conducts physical fitness tests every year until you retire.

Failing the Physical tests means a full stop to your promotions. So even after commissioning keeping oneself fit becomes everyone’s baby. People play troop games in the Armed Forces. Bonding and comraderie are exhibited when playing troop games like football, rugby, basket ball, hockey, etc. The importance of physical fitness is paramount in the Armed Forces. In a lighter spirit, ‘I always wished our police forces also took such physical tests seriously for their promotions, How nice it would be?!’.

Long before people like Gerard Butler in 300 and Shahrukh Khan in Om Shanti Om posed thier 6 pack abs and created sensation among the youth here, we at the academy always had one!! I never knew it would become such a hype in the years to come. Had I known it before I would have got myself clicked posing with my abs, so that I could show my kids and tell them,’see I too had one‘. 🙂

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Nikhil Kumar Singh August 20, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Hi Sir,

Very good and motivating story. Nice reading it.


Sorabh Yadav August 21, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Hello sir
Nice post and it shows that how much defense forces care for you…..


Meenakshi Yadav August 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm

loved it Sir….vry nice….m olso a bit overweght…i hope i 2 reduce it as u did…:) soon


AKHIL August 21, 2012 at 7:21 pm



sushant August 21, 2012 at 10:28 pm

nice article,keep posting such useful articles like this.


anup jose August 22, 2012 at 9:53 am

hello sir,
its a good article of yours, helpful.thankyou.


Khilesh Turkar August 23, 2012 at 7:09 am

Thank you very much sir… You came with the fantastic blog…
Sir you cleared your SSB in your 1st attempt??


uday August 25, 2012 at 9:21 am

Yes. I gave two SSB one for NDA and other for 10+2 Technical and cleared both.
Selected NDA which was my obvious choice


S md aqthar August 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Sir is a total of 350 marks in nda written enough to clear it .


maxy August 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm

😀 😀 I totally enjoyed this one.I did’nt know that you had a gr8 sense of humour Sir.This article made me realise that we don’t need to be extraordinary to become an officer in the armed forces. Thanx alot Sir 🙂


niki August 23, 2012 at 10:27 pm

hello sir,
i have aspired for defence forces since i was a kid,and my family has been very brother being in the army,when he learnt about my interest,he made me go through a practise session at an indi. obstacles course.i had extreme difficulty completing three obstacles which involved ropes,ie tarzan jump,double pit jump and tiger jump,in fact got a sprain in my leg when i did the tiger jump and have developed a fear for it ever arm strength is zero.will it affect my performance if i leave these deliberately during ssb?


uday August 25, 2012 at 9:29 am

Niki, its ok if you deliberately leave them. But do not make it evident that you are not going to do them. And if time is left then you must give a try. Winners never quit. So if you have time left at the end and have tese three obstacles left out then I suggest you give a try.


Kaustubh August 24, 2012 at 1:44 am

SIR, THANKS FOR SHARING…….this will motivate me and others also


Ramsheed Hameed August 24, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Dear Sir,
Even though cracking ssb is still far away from me I sincerely wanted to be fit.
I also strongly agree with your opinion about the need of troop games in the police force to make them fit as belly became a sign to recognize police officer.


niki August 25, 2012 at 1:08 pm

thank you sir,very grateful for the guidance…:)


narayana August 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm

sir please reply to my query.


uday August 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Dear Narayana, I could not accept the fact that such things could happen… Its hard to beleive. It must be just a rumour. If you find such things then tell me!! Donot say what your friends have told you. Most times its all due to the anguish of not being selected.

sss August 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm

sir can you please tell us that out of the three parts of ssb that is (psychological,interview,G.T.O.) which part has highest wightage?.Or i can say that all parts have equal weightage or not?.I am asking this because after appeared in all 3ssb’s, i came up with this. psychological test is the problem.please help me out from this next ssb is approching.dates yet to come……..and one important is you in the kid pic.:)


sss August 27, 2012 at 4:43 pm

tgc-116 BHOPAL ssb dates is the link. check gentleman.all the best.

sir please answer my question related to the weightage of the three parts of ssb.


Patel Mehulkumar September 1, 2012 at 7:59 pm

How many time ncc cadet attmp ssb….???


uday September 2, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Patel Mehulkar, unlimited number of times…

N.D.SANDEEP BA.BL September 17, 2012 at 12:20 pm

hello sir,
im sandeep studying law and very keen to get in ota. im 162cms ht and well built. placed in bodybuilding competition. but my concern is that i have OSD in my right leg. when i consult a doctor(5 years ago) he said its common among athletes and nothing to worry.. i can see a small lump like appearance blw my knee ( when folded) but i hav no pain and still continuing with my workouts.
would this OSD makes a candidate unfit ?? waiting fr ur reply sir.. thank u..


Arun Prakash September 25, 2012 at 12:24 am


I have a eyepower of -1.75 in both eyes.. I am attending SSB for SSC (Executive) IT for Navy.. Will eye power a problem in medical..


ajay September 29, 2012 at 8:26 pm

sir my left eyesight power is 1.6 n right is about 1…. so am i able to clear ssb interview!!


sss September 4, 2012 at 2:25 pm

sir please reply……….
i am not getting any response from ur site……


uday September 4, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Dear Satnam Singh, I am not able to see any of your queries .. I might have deleted some by mistake as I receive 100s of questions everyday. It will be great if you can mail me your specific questions to [email protected]



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