About a year ago, we wrote a piece about preparing our candidates for Selection and in regards to the Physical Fitness test, training for the UBRR (Upper Body Round Robin) rather than the old, outdated 3-Event Physical Fitness test.

We had received several questions from potential candidates asking,“Why do use the Upper Body Round Robin Test, the UBRR to focus on for candidates fitness in your Special Operations Forces (SOF), Physical Training workouts instead of having them just ready themselves for the 3-Event test?

It was a good question and for the next generation of candidates coming into the pipeline for Special Operations, we’ll explain why we feel this is not only the best way but the only way to go.

But first, a bit of background on the UBRR. Several years ago, a group of Delta operators headed up by Ed Bugarin decided to test themselves physically and came up with a test that would take some of the already most fit special operators in the world and give them a challenge. They took certain things each of them did well and weaved them into a round robin type of workout that eventually became the UBRR.

So, why use the UBRR and not the 3-Event PT Test that each candidate will be tested on when they get to Selection? Let’s take a look at some of these and any questions you have should be answered.

The 3-Event Test is a Poor Test For “Functional” Fitness for SOF: Although the three event PT Test is still what the military uses to test a candidate’s physical fitness, It is a poor choice for testing a Special Operations team member on functional fitness.

What is functional fitness? The textbook definition is that functional fitness exercises train your muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks by simulating common movements you might do at home, at work or in sports. While using various muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time, functional fitness exercises also emphasize core stability.

The 3-Event test doesn’t train your body to do the tasks you’ll be required to conduct in SOF and for the military for that matter. The Army is scrapping the 3-Event PT Test (finally) and is working on a newer, more functional test.

Ask any Special Operator about the 3-Event PT test and they’ll tell you it is a joke. Many of the candidates who regularly get 300 on their PT test at their unit, come to Selection and are completely unprepared physically for what comes their way.

UBRR is a Much Better Fitness Indicator Overall: When it comes to functional fitness and having core body strength, the UBRR is head and shoulders above the standard testing event.

As we mentioned above the UBRR was designed by Ed Bugarin and some of the other Delta Force operators many years ago. These Delta operators were into fitness and decided to come up with a physical fitness test for themselves that would incorporate total body fitness. That is how the UBRR was born. The test will measure, upper body strength, endurance, cardio as well as core fitness.

Selection is no joke. You’ll be pushed to your physical limits. That is what the course was designed to do. And if you want to be in Special Operations and be part of the best-trained units in the world, you’ll have to be ready for any and all challenges that come your way. The UBRR is a very tough test that will gauge a person’s fitness level overall and takes into consideration upper body strength as well as endurance and cardio.

Let’s refresh our memories on the events of the UBRR

The UBRR test consists of nine events.

#1: Bench Press– 80% of your body weight, 6 repetitions minimum, no time limit

Each additional repetition above the minimum is worth 3 points

#2: Pushups– 40 push-ups is the minimum, 1-minute time limit.

Each additional repetition above the minimum is worth 2 points

#3 Sit-Ups– 40 sit-ups is the minimum, 1-minute time limit.

Each additional repetition above the minimum is worth 3 points

#4: Pull-ups– 6 pull-ups is the minimum, no time limit.

Each additional repetition above the minimum is worth 3.5 points

#5: Dips– 10 dips is the minimum, no time limit.

Each additional repetition above the minimum is worth 2.5 points

#6: Rope Climb– Member must climb a 20-foot rope while wearing a 20lb vest. No time limit. Pass/Fail

#7: Kipp Up– 6 Kipp Ups is the minimum, no time limit.

Each additional repetition above the minimum is worth 3.5 points

#8: Shuttle Run– 25 meters shuttle run, done 4 times, 24 second time limit.

Each full 0.1 second under the maximum is worth 2 points.

#9: 5 Mile Run/Ruck– 5-mile run, 40-minute time limit.

Every full 5-second increment under the maximum time is worth 2 points

5-mile ruck, 75-minute time limit. 45-lb rucksack, not counting water.

Every full-time increment of 15 seconds under the maximum is worth 2 points.

As soon as an individual finishes one exercise, he must start the next exercise in no more than 1 minute.

There is only one common standard for all age groups.

A failure of any part of the test is a failure overall. The fact that there is no sliding scale for age groups is interesting in the fact that, when members are in the operational units, they are all expected to be able to do the same job regardless of one’s age.

Only one attempt is allowed per participant at each station

In order to pass the UBRR, participants must achieve the following:

Pass all of the events with at least the minimum score, and receive at least 1100 total points from all the events combined. For those with trouble with math in figuring out your score, there is an online UBRR calculator that will figure out your score for you.

This is a much tougher test to measure total physical fitness and much better functional fitness test for what Special Operations troops are required to do. And this is part of being in SOF, the ability to work harder and accomplish more than the average troop.

The bottom line is this: if you as a Special Operations candidate are ready to pass the UBRR then the first gate you’ll be required to pass, the 3-Event PT test will be an absolute breeze. For now, we’re stuck with the antiquated PT Test. Eventually, the military will break out their new test, which is much better but in our opinion still has a way to go, especially for what you are setting your sights on.

But that doesn’t mean you have to set your standards low. Set out to get 1300-1400 in the UBRR, then achieve it and you’ll smoke the 3-Event PT Test, that we can guarantee. And if you’re in that kind of shape, you’ll be much better prepared to handle anything that will get thrown in your direction during the course. Does it guarantee you’ll be selected? No, but the odds of you being selected will be much, much higher

Approach all of your workouts and your physical preparation like any other challenge, and meet it head-on. Better yet, approach it like you are the third monkey on Noah’s Ark and it is beginning to rain.

Photo: DOD


Originally published on specialoperations.com