Plan Focus: Upper Body Round Robin

By Rob Shaul 

The Upper Body Round Robin (UBRR) is a Physical Fitness Test created for and by the SOF Community. Our quick research indicated the UBBR’s roots go back to Former Delta Force Operator Ed Bugarin, who originally created the series of events to work on his own weaknesses.

The test then got implemented by Bugarin’s leadership and is still one of the unofficial fitness assessments deployed in many SOF units.

The UBBR contains the following 9 events:

(1) Bench Press for Reps
Load: 80% of Bodyweight
Minimum score: 6 reps
Time: no time limit

(2) Push-Ups
Minimum score: 40 reps
Time: 1 Minute

(3) Sit-Ups
Minimum score: 40 reps
Time: 1 Minute

(4) Pull-Ups
Minimum score: 6 reps
Time: no time limit

(5) Dips
Minimum score: 10 reps
Time: no time limit

(6) 25” Rope Climb in IBA
Pass or fail event
Time: no time limit

(7) Kipp-Ups
Minimum score: 6 reps
Time: 1 Minute

(8) 4x 25m Shuttle Run with blocks (approx. 3x3x1 inches)
Minimum score: finish sprints within 24 Seconds
Then, depending on Unit, Company etc. it is either

(9) 5 Mile Run
Minimum Score: finish run within 40 Minutes
(9) 5 Mile Ruck
Load: 45# dry
Minimum Score: finish ruck within 75 Minutes

As soon as one event is finished, the next event has to start in no more than 10 minutes.

MTI’s 6 Week, 5 day/week Upper Body Round Robin (UBRR) Training Plan is designed to specifically prepare athletes for the UBRR.

We updated our UBRR plan in April, 2017.

Here are the specific changes we made:

  • Increased the length from 3 to 6 weeks
  • Simplified and focused the plan by narrowing exercise menu
  • Standardized weekly training, simplifying the bench press and bodyweight calisthenic progressions
  • Deployed our most recent endurance programming to the run / ruck run progression methodology
  • Increased the plan’s intensity

This training plan deploys the UBRR Assessment three times – beginning, middle and end. The follow-on progressions are based on the athlete’s most recent assessment results. In this way the training plan automatically “scales” to your incoming fitness and continues to “scale” and push you as your fitness improves during the plan.

Depending on your chain of command, you will perform either a 5 mile run or a 5 mile ruck NOT both. Hence, you need to choose whether you will be using the running or rucking progression on this train-up.

Each week has the same structure, with objectives by day as follows:

Monday: Bench Press / Pull-Ups / Dips / Fast Run or Ruck Run Intervals
Tuesday: Push-Ups / Sit-Ups / Kipp-Ups / Rope Climbs / Shuttle Sprints
Wednesday: Bench Press / Pull-Ups / Dips / Fast Run or Ruck Run Intervals
Thursday: Push-Ups / Sit-Ups / Kipp-Ups / Rope Climbs / Shuttle Sprints
Friday: Bench Press / Pull-Ups / Dips / Easy Run or Ruck Run

The longer sessions are on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. It is okay to split the sessions into 2-a-days if needed to complete them. Sessions run from 75 to 120 minutes, depending upon your run and rucking speed.


Required Equipment?

  • Bench Press set up including bench, rack, barbell, plates for loading.
  • Pull Up Bar
  • IBA (Individual Body Armor) and 25-Foot Rope for Climbing
  • Stop watch with interval coundown timer (Timex Ironman or iphone)
  • Track or known distances for 5 miles, 2 Miles and 1 Mile
  • Ruck and 45# of Filler (if you are doing the ruck in the UBRR)
  • Foam Roller
  • 5-foot piece of PVC or a broomstick


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