How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? (Season One)

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Hibiki has arrived for her free gym trial but has no expectations of continuing. That is until she meets Machio and gets a glimpse into the world of bodybuilding!

What did you watch?

This summer, I’ve watched a lot of new shows, but this is the one that I have been eagerly waiting for each week. I went into this series expecting it to be fun, but I didn’t expect it to be lifechanging too! If you’re looking for a little positivity and want to feel great, then this is the series for you. Seriously, I can’t praise this show enough, but I will give it a shot. I also reviewed in on an episode basis on and the links to those will be at the end of this review. As you may think, there will be spoilers.

How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift Episode 1 Akemi And Hibiki Seeing Machio Muscles

What happened?

When Hibiki’s friends pointed out that she may be gaining weight, she was distraught and desperately wanted to do something about it. Conveniently, a new gym had opened nearby and was offering free trials. When Hibiki got there, she discovered that student president Akemi was also there for a trial. They’d never really spoke before but ended up training together. Within minutes of the trial beginning, they had both made up their minds. It was the gym life for them.

The gym quickly took over their lives but in a good way. Machio, the trainer was always positive and understanding. He explained everything and made sure to nurture the girls’ development. Their group grew as more girls joined, some from as far as Russia, and even a teacher. Together they trained and made the most of the events the gym put on, which included an arm-wrestling tournament, a Christmas party, and a muscle talent contest.

How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift Episode 2 Akemi Hibiki And Machio Protein Bar

What did you think?

I absolutely loved this series. It was a great mix of comedy and educational content, with a good helping of fan-service, and a side of positivity. This series really was great and I would often find myself grinning from ear to ear during every episode. Then, once it was over, it left you feeling happy and positive. I’ve heard of other viewers joining gyms and increasing their activity off the back of this show. For a group, not known for being active, this is a massive achievement and I wish everyone that has done so the very best. It reminded me of Harukana Receives with its healthy approach to competitiveness and friendship, while being fun and nice to look at.

How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift Episode 6 Hibiki Arm Wrestling Zina

What was your favourite moment?

There were lots of great moments, but the first time we saw Hibiki’s potential was incredible. I’m, of course, talking about how she ended up at Ayaka’s boxing gym and was encouraged to try punching the bag. Well, not only did she punch it, but much to the surprise of everyone at the gym, she obliterated it. Luckily, we got to see it once more in the final episode, but before then there was the arm-wrestling competition which gave Hibiki another chance to go into Hulk mode.

Other than that, I just loved the way they supported one another and encouraged each other to do better. Too often, shows focus on the over-competitive nature of exercise and it ends up being like a battle, so seeing a group develop a friendship that was likely to last the rest of their lives was refreshing. There’s just so much to take away from this series, it definitely warrants a rewatch or two or three.

How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift Episode 12 Hibiki Preparing to Hit Punching Bag

What was your least favourite moment?

When it ended. Seriously, I want more. Another season, a series of workout videos, an exercise game. Anything. Just give me more. Other than that, I literally cannot think of anything that I didn’t like in this series. Admittedly, even the ending was perfect, seeing Hibiki step onto the scales for one last time and watching her face light up. Makes me smile just thinking about it.

How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift Episode 12 Happy Hibiki

Who was your favourite character?

It had to be Hibiki. I loved her journey and it’s something a lot of people can relate to. She likes to eat, well who doesn’t. She wants to lose a little weight, everyone, no matter what their body has the same concerns. So, it was great to learn about how to attack it, how to adjust your diet, your routine and how doing certain things were counterproductive. This show drops a lot of information, but I’m going to remember it all and that’s thanks to the cast. They made this series as entertaining and memorable as it was.

How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift Episode 6 Hibiki Loses To Machio

Who was your least favourite character?

I’m reaching here, and just so I don’t skip this one too, I’m going to pick Jason Sgatham, the assistant to Barnold Shortsinator who stayed in Japan to encourage Machio. I’m not entirely sure his character was needed and while he did some funny things again, it could have been anyone. This is some serious nitpicking, so you can just ignore this section if you want. I wouldn’t blame you.

How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift Episode 12 Director and Jason Sgatham Stranded

Would you like some more?

This isn’t about liking some more. I NEED some more. My life is going to feel empty without my weekly catch up with Hibiki and Machio. However, thanks to the instructional exercise sessions, there are lots of reasons to rewatch them. And if we don’t get an exercise video, you could easily put the last segment from each episode together. In fact, I’m sure someone will have already done it on YouTube. I would love a second season, but I also loved how it ended.

How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift Episode 12 Hibiki and Akemi's Friendship

What have you learnt?

A lot of what I write is dark and violent, so seeing something so uplifting and positive really resonate with a lot of people is a big deal. It’s probably not going to change the overall tone of my writing, but trying to put in those moments to balance the stories is something I will definitely consider. I really enjoy the friendship, which would be more than possible to have in a dark situation. It’s nice to see people get along and no one acts like a jerk.

How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift Episode 12 Akemi Soatomi Ayaka Hibiki Gina and Machio Goodbye

Other Posts in the Series

As I promised at the beginning of the post, these are the links to all of the episode reviews over on Enjoy!


  1. I’ve heard some interesting things about this anime. That’s cool how it got people to go to the gym. It’s kind of like how Hikaru no Go exposed Go to a wider audience worldwide.

    • It was really surprising just how educational and motivational it was. The fact that they had a really good mix of characters at different stages definitely helped. It was just a very positive experience.

    • I see. That’s cool how it had edutainment aspects to it. I’m glad there was a good mix of different elements there.

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