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Manga / How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?

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From top to bottom: Gina, Ayaka, Hibiki, and Akemi.
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How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?, also known as Danberu Nan Kilo Moteru? in Japanese, is a manga series written by Yabako Sandrovich and illustrated by MAAM. The series is seralized on the Ura Sunday website and the MangaONE app. The series currently has eight volumes.

Hibiki Sakura has gotten fat! Worried that her life as a beautiful maiden is over, Hibiki thinks about joining the brand new Silverman Gym in order to lose some weight. While going on a tour, Hibiki meets her schoolmate Akemi Souryuin, who is also looking to join the gym.

Thinking that this gym must be full of beautiful people like Akemi, Hibiki wonders if she will finally find a boyfriend. Unfortunately for Hibiki, Silverman Gym seems to be full of nothing but hardcore macho men, except for the very handsome personal trainer Naruzo Machio. Instantly smitten, Hibiki joins and begins her quest to lose some weight.

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An anime adaptation aired from July 3, 2019 to September 18, 2019. The anime was produced by Dogakobo and is licensed in North America by Funimation.


Tropes present in the work:

  • Art Shift: The series does this frequently. Depending on the situation, a single chapter may go through multiple styles. The characters break the fourth wall constantly to acknowledge it.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Everyone on occasion when they workout.
  • Big "NO!":
    • This is Hibiki's reaction when Akemi tells her that she wants them to become strong and macho together.
    • Satomi is mortified when Akemi notices that she has a odd diamond shaped tan on her stomach.
  • Casting Gag: Once again, Tessho Genda voices a character who is The Ahnold.
  • Crossover: For one of the volume releases of both Kengan Ashura and Dumbells, both series had an extra chapter covering an eating contest where Kengan's Ohma and our Hibiki out ate the competition and each other.
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  • Date Peepers: Hibiki, Gina, and Satomi spy on Akemi and Machio during their "date" in Destinyland.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The opening theme is sung by Ai Fairouz (Hibiki) and Kaito Ishikawa (Machio) while the ending theme is sung by Ishikawa.
  • Don't Try This at Home: This message appears after Hibiki, Akemi, Ayaka, and Satomi agree to have an endurance match in the sauna.
  • Edutainment: The series goes to great lengths to show the audience how to properly exercise.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Hibiki becomes curious when she sees Machio hanging out with another woman. When Ayaka's sister Nana shows up at the gym, it's revealed that she's the woman who Hibiki saw. It's also revealed that the reason why they were seen together was that they were attending their middle school reunion. Later on, it's revealed that they went to high school with Ibuki as well.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: This happens when Satomi explains to Hibiki that her class is disqualified because she illegally picked up the baton her classmate dropped during the 400 meter relay.
  • Exposition Already Covered: In Chapter 42, when Hibiki, Akemi, and Satomi find a burn machine in the gym and questions what it is, Jason is about to explain it to them but Hibiki ignores him and asks Machio about it. Jason gives him a Death Glare with a creepy smile.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Gina occasionally confuses Chinese and Korean customs and culture along with Japanese and early on thinks Hong Kong is just a stone's throw away from metropolitan Japan.
  • It Runs in the Family: Hibiki and Ibuki are both noted by the rest of the characters to be complete idiots, though it takes slightly different forms in both of them.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: During the amusement park trip in Chapter 26, Satomi, after being separated from Hibiki and Gina because she was nauseous, goes off on her own in her joshikousei cosplay, musing that she'd better not run into someone she knows, lest they learn about her hobby. Unfortunately, she runs into Rumika, who's also cosplaying as a joshikousei, and the two freeze in shock. They agree afterwards to pretend like nothing ever happened.
  • Love Triangle: Defied. Hibiki believes this to be the case. When she finally gets the courage to confront Akemi about what she thought were Akemi's feelings for Machio, Akemi explains that she views him as a Lust Object and doesn't think he's boyfriend material for herself at all because despite her muscle fetish, she has other things she's looking for in a man.
  • Male Gaze: The series really doesn't shy away from focusing on the body parts of its female characters in any given situation. Whether their legs, butts, chests, etc.
  • One-Gender School: As the name implies, Koyo Women's Academy is an all-girls school.
  • Shared Universe: It takes places in the same world as Kengan Ashura, going by the many cameos of fighters from that series in here. Akemi's beloved big sister and chairwoman of the school happens to be Shion Soryuin, who is very prominent in Kengan.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Hibiki and Ayaka watch a movie starring Harnold Dogegenchonegger. The movie is an obvious parody of Commando.
    • Hibiki refers to Nana's Drill Sergeant Nasty routine at the Glory Gym as "Million Dollar Crazy".
    • Machio cosplays as the "Muscle King". In reality, he's cosplaying as Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star. In the manga, the series the "Muscle King" comes from is labeled (in English, at least) as Lifts of the North Star.
    • At the same event where Machio cosplays as the "Muscle King", Satomi cosplays as Shimakaze from Kantai Collection.
    • In the manga, Ayaka references Rocky III when she suggests that she, Hibiki, Akemi, and Satomi should do some sprinting on the beach.
    • Akemi earned the nickname the "Koyo Joyner" when she got first place against the track team in the 400 meter relay the year prior.
    • Gina credits watching Jackie Chan movies as one of the sources she used in order to "understand" Japanese culture.
    • One of the contestants in the arm wrestling matches is Rolento.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • It actually is true that static stretches actually do more harm than good when done at the very beginning of a workout routine, akin to the "cold elastic" principle. For the record, static stretches are more suitable for the "cool down" period in a workout whereas the dynamic stretches Akemi recommends are what you use to "warm up". The manga even handily cites the study as a reference.
    • The manga has panels dedicated to describing the particular workout being done, and it's cited by fitness professionals to be pretty accurate to each one.
  • Straight Man: Odd in that almost every girl in the cast (save for Akemi) that signs up for Silverman Gym has a bout of commentary on Machio's antics and the sexualized infotainment sections until about their first month in the gym when they just start rolling with it anyway. Satomi's straight man commentary in regards to Machio overshadowing her at an anime convention is drawn out enough that it wears her out and sends her slipping out of her cosplay early.
  • Super-Deformed: The ending theme has the characters depicted this way.
  • Workout Fanservice: Besides a lot of questionable angles and some Does This Remind You of Anything? moments, every explanation on the exercise of the day is almost always done by a female character and usually ends with them being half to fully naked and covered in sweat. Hibiki frequently lampshades it, accusing Machio of trying to get people to pay attention by punctuating his lectures with attractive women and his own flexing muscles.
  • You Are Fat: All the girls are pretty supportive of each other, but Ayaka likes to tease Hibiki about her chub and her eating habits whenever Hibiki moans about her goals not being met. It helps that they're best friends.
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