The Unavailable Barbell

Whether you can tell by looking at me or not, I workout every single day (except Sundays).

If you accidentally touch my arm then you’ll know it’s true.

Otherwise, just seeing me on stage, you’d never know that I live for the gym and to exercise.


There’s a very simple move I’ve enjoyed for years, it’s for building your biceps/arms, called the Standing Preacher Curl.

It’s where you stand behind a tall cushion, rest your chest against it, and drape your arms over the front of it with a barbell in your hands.

From there, you curl upwards, keeping your triceps against the cushion, and get an incredible pump in your biceps as you bring the barbell to your chin.

I have worked up to doing 4 Sets of 12-16 Reps with 50, 55, and 60 lb barbells.

That’s a good amount of weight for anyone who is “natty”, meaning, Natural, and not poking their butts with the juice needle.

Since summer began, something weird is happening at the gym – EVERYONE and their Mom seems to be there.

Every hour, every moment, 5 AM, 2 PM, 5 PM, 11 PM.  It’s insane!

But not everyone uses the Standing Preacher Curl.

So, I set my things there – phone, car keys, glasses – to claim my spot, and walk over to the barbell selection rack.

50’s, 55’s, 60’s are all gone.

All that’s available are 70 lbs and up.

I can historically hardly do the 70 lb barbell for a few reps, let alone multiple sets.

So, I grab the 35 lb barbell to warm up, which is a good push for me, and then the 45.

Feeling good, I go back and see, lo and behold, the 60 lb is available!

I grab it and it’s WAY heavier than I remember.

I go to my Preacher Curl and begin.

My goodness, what is wrong with me?  I must be tired.

I pull my guts out, sputtering and spattering, face reddening, I begin laughing it’s so insanely heavy.

Tame Impala sings into my headphones – “Let it Happen, just let it happen…”

I do my reps, barely make it to 8. Try again, get to 6.  My arms are screaming at me!

I am sweating like a Mad Man!  I crank out 3 sets and am shocked at my loss of strength.

And that’s when I take a closer look at my 60 lb barbell.

Yep, you guessed it…if you’ve ever played cards you know what I’ve done.

I was looking at the 60 upside down.

I grabbed the 90 lb barbell!

Stunned to think I had even done more than one rep, let alone multiple sets, I laughed to think well no wonder it was so tough!

And so it is with pushing ourselves to a level we didn’t know we had. 

We always return to the same habit, same way of doing things, what worked before will work again…yet will we grow? 

I have seen this happen time and time again when a friend is thrust into a new position at work that they never aspired to, yet it is beyond difficult, and somehow, they succeed!

Or listening to the older generation tell my child the car they just bought will be impossible to drive, since it’s a manual, how the stick shift is next level…only to see my daughter drive away having figured it out quite easily.


My daughter, Ella, in the new manual car she just bought with her own money


How about sitting with my young teenaged sons, downloading Uber on their phones, and the Delta app, and then sending them from Salt Lake City to San Diego for a weeklong camp, where they navigated the airports, got their own Uber, checked themselves into San Diego State University, had the time of their lives being independent and self-sufficient.


Red & Rom at SLC Airport on their own!


Watching children, employees, volunteers being forced into a new situation, giving them the chance to grow where they didn’t realize obstacles in the way may be heavier than they appear, and yet they can still come out on top – This is the best part of life! 

I’m so proud of my kids this week, and my friend who has the new job.

Everyone keeps The Promise when they crank out the reps, even doing weight they never knew they had in them, possibly because they don’t even know they’re lifting more than expected.

Arms are sore, but growing!

How much weight are you bearing to keep The Promise to grow?


A RARE gym selfie by yours truly. Not many of these photos out there, so enjoy! LOL

~ Jason Hewlett

Husband, Father, Writer, Mentor, Hiker

  • Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer * Coach & Mentor
  • World’s Only Keynote Speaker utilizing entertainment, musical impressions, and comedy to teach The Promise
  • Author of “The Promise To The One”

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4 thoughts on “The Unavailable Barbell”

  1. I love you are teaching your kids independence and self-sufficiency! As a crazy worrier mom, I don’t know if I could have sent two teens to San Diego on their own (full transparency) but you equipped them with everything they needed and they did just fine. My kids are grown now and I don’t know if I ever gave them enough credit for what they were capable to go and do on their own. What a great learning, growing, out-of-comfort zone experience for them and for you! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Dannette, I’m so with you! Honestly. I could hardly sleep all week…my wife is the one who doesn’t worry. So she equals things out. But I have learned to walk through airports, or any place, with them and teach as we go. I force them to figure it out and prove they can, and so I know I trained them well, it’s just scary to let them go. But it’s awesome to see them return so proud of themselves, as they even had to troubleshoot a few things I didn’t share here and that made it even more significant!

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