Anime can be a great motivator. Countless people have been inspired by their favourite anime heroes like All Might to hit the gym and try to get that perfect physique. But in the world of anime, there is only one true master of fitness and that is our favourite muscle bro, Machio Naruzo. He might not be able to lift a car like Goku, but no one can lift our spirits and help us knock out those last few reps like he can.
For this week’s Hump Day Husbando feature, we take a look at the man who gets us moving and lifting like no one else.
Who is Machio Naruzo?
In the first chapter of How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift? Hibiki Sakura goes to Silverman Gym, where she hopes to get fit and healthy before beach season. That is, until she runs into the sea of grunting, musclebound figures pumping iron in the weight room. Like many, she is intimidated by this display of testosterone and decides to flee to a safe distance. That is until she meets Machio, who she deems to be hella cute.
Machio is chilled and endlessly supportive, helping Hibiki and her friend Akemi get acquainted with the gym and some of the more important pieces of equipment. He is a guide and support structure for Hibiki. When asked if he laughs at weak people like her, Machio assures her he would never laugh at anyone trying their best. It’s a heart-warming take from him that convinces Hibiki to stick with her fitness journey. After all, Machio seems pretty normal, right?
At least until he takes his tracksuit off and reveals himself to be the muscle-god that he is.
Why we love him
Much of the appeal of How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift? comes from how the balance between Machio as a laid-back trainer and the imminent danger everyone around him is of seeing his clothes explode as soon as he flexes. He inexplicably grows in height and bulk when he undresses, showcasing his exquisitely defined and muscled physique. But despite his intimidating appearance, he is still the nice, chilled guy he always was. Machio celebrates the girls’ achievements and growth as much as they do like a good trainer should.
There are tips and instructional segments scattered throughout the anime and the manga, giving fans the chance to replicate Machio’s training regime for themselves. Rather than frame this as a punishment, which creates a bad relationship with exercise, he is still encouraging and enthusiastic, offering lower-intensity versions of each movement for those just starting out. Machio is a giant slab of muscle, but he is still wholesome as heck and I love that in a man.
Why you’ll love him
Machio exudes pure, unrefined himbo energy. He’s kind and supportive, always ready to give the Dumbbells girls a lift when they need it. He is a source of gentle guidance when they need it and a shoulder to help get them moving when they stumble. He only wants to see everyone have the chance to pursue their goals, no matter what they are.
In an anime that is all about weightlifting and muscles, it would be easy to have the main male character be the kind of hyper-competitive meathead that anyone who has been to the gym for more than half an hour has met. Machio is never in danger of delving into that trope. He is what more people at the gym should be.
If you haven’t seen How Heavy Are The Dumbbells You Lift? then there is no better time to do so than now. Machio and all the girls are streaming right now on the Funimation website.
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