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and, in regards to the Physical Fitness test, training for the Upper Body Round Robin (UBRR) rather than the old, outdated 3-Event Physical Fitness test.

The Army is finally ditching the antiquated 3-Event PT Test, for the new 6-Event Combat Fitness Test. In October of 2020, the Army troops will have this as a test barometer to measure their combat fitness. While it is a definite step in the right direction, it isn’t as good of a combat fitness barometer for the UBRR, especially for Special Operations troops.

Somebody once wrote ( I believe it was Jim Morris), that the difference between a normal man and a warrior is that a normal man looks at everything as either a blessing or a curse, while the warrior looks at everything like a challenge. And as Special Operations troops, that is one of the things that attracted us to SOF in the first place

So how did the UBRR ever come to be? 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.

It was a perfect blend of different physical fitness indicators. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. UBTT puts all of them to the test and is a true “functional fitness” challenge for SOF. 

The textbook definition for functional fitness is exercises that 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.

That’s exactly what the UBRR tests in Special Operations troops do: all of these movements test the operator on things that he (or she) will be required to do.

The 3-Event test didn’t do that and for that reason (finally) it has been scrapped. The newer Combat Fitness Test is much better, but for special operators, the bar is set much higher… as it should be. That’s why many of the candidates who regularly get a 300 on their PT test at their parent unit come to Selection and are completely unprepared physically for what comes their way.