Ultimate Black Belt Test

50,000 push ups. 50,000 crunches. 5,000 techniques. 15 minutes of daily meditation. 1,000 acts of kindness. A reading list, wrongs to be righted, relationships to be mended, and writing assignments. Are you exhausted yet? This is the Ultimate Black Belt Test. A program designed by Master Tom Callos, the Ultimate Black Belt Test (UBBT) is a series of physical, written, reading, social, and mental challenges designed to transform those who accept the challenge.

I like that word, “transform.” I’m generally pretty pleased with myself as a person (sometimes a little too pleased), but I am intrigued by the idea of transforming myself. So, I’m taking up the gauntlet informally. I’ve modified the list a tad to fit better — I need to practice my techniques more often, so I’ve got a daily technique requirement. But I’m not taking things off just because I don’t like them or think I’ll be able to do them. Like those push ups. It breaks down to 150 a day and Sundays off. Not too hard, right? The first day wasn’t. But I spent all day yesterday racing around, moving things, shuttling kids, forgetting to eat, cleaning, and somehow those 150 push ups slipped by me. So, 300 today. Have you tried doing 300 really good push ups in a day? No knees, no wuss ups. It’s pretty damn tough, even 10 at a time. But I want to transform. I don’t think it’ll be dramatic — you’ll still recognize me at the end of 13 months. But I might be a little fitter, a little less prone to injury, a little calmer, a little nicer. And I’ll blog about it along the way, so you can judge how I’m doing. Want to join me? Check out the requirements at: www.ubbtrequirements.com/requirements_2008.html. Then let me know how you’re doing.

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  1. Definitely not in a position where work and school allow me to participate, but at some point in my life, I would love to take the UBBT. Good luck, Nikki!

  2. Thanks again for introducing me to the UBBT concept. I’m not following it yet, but I’m happy to say that for a second time I got up to 150 push-ups and 150 sit-ups in my morning workout (5 sets of 30 alternating with 10-20 minutes of cardio).

    I’ve been reading up on some other training regimens, and if you haven’t seen it before check out CrossFit:


    It has more weight lifting than I’m prepared for at the moment, but the core philosophy is sound. I had already been varying my workouts from day to day, but reading through the CrossFit “workout of the day” has given me ideas and made me think about how I can add even more variety. I’m now hoping I can get up to 250 push-ups and 250 sit-ups in a day that I can stick with the UBBT overall schedule but only do those exercises every other day.

    –Ken S. PSBN from Massachusetts

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