How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? is a veritable buffet of waifus. From the NSFW splash pages of the manga to one of my favourite anime openings of all time, it’s a show that knows what it is and who it is catering to. So picking a favourite waifu for this week’s Waifu Wednesday was tough, but in the end I’ve got to go with my main girl Hibiki Sakura.
So tighten that core, flex those shoulders, and pull your best side chest pose, cause this week we’re gonna get them gains.
Who is Hibiki Sakura?
Hibiki Sakura is the main character of How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?, one of four young women on a fitness journey together. As the show opens, she is horrified that she has put on a bit of weight, so she signs up for the free trial at the newly opened Silverman’s Gym. This begins her quest to become her best self, to gain the physical strength to match the strength of her personality, and get a rocking bod by summer so she can impress the boys.
How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? spends a lot of time going into different exercises and techniques that Hibiki learns throughout the series. From the dreaded squats to the plank to the importance of diet on fitness, there is a lot to take in. For the anime, most of the episodes finish with a small workout to help you get fit alongside the main cast. Most of it is framed as everyone supporting Hibiki Sakura to learn the moves and get the gains she’s after.
Why We Love Her
Some of you might not know that I’ve spent a significant amount of time in gyms throughout my life, so trust me when I say that Hibiki Sakura is one of the most relatable anime protagonists that has ever been written. Her struggle to work out at home, to hit the pavement for a run without giving up, her overwhelming dread at the sight of the muscle heads working out at the gym are all something that everyone has to go through when they first start going to gyms or working out.
She overcomes this with the help of her friends — and because she is hoping to get personal trainer and muscle-bro Machio’s phone number. I mean, who isn’t? The man is fine. She’s ever hopeful even when she’s intimidated by everything that is being thrown at her. At the start, she panics at the prospect of the humble bench press but eventually Hibiki Sakura is doing pull ups, dead lifts, and burpees like a grizzled veteran.
I mean, she does accidentally split her shorts while doing leg curls, but who hasn’t been there, right?
Why you’ll love her
This one is easy: Hibiki Sakura is cute as heck. From her spunky, earnest personality to that anime girl fang she’s got going on, she ticks a lot of boxes even before you talk about the pin-up shots that pepper both the anime and the manga. There is just so much to love about this girl. Sure, Akemi has got the lewd noises down, Ayaka has abs for days and Satomi is a cosplay queen, but Hibiki has got the body and the personality to come out on top every time.
If you haven’t seen How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?, check out both the sub and the dub over on Funimation or pick up the manga in most bookshops, since volume four just hit UK shelves this month. And just for good measure, check out the opening theme song and tell me you’re not going to add it to your workout playlist.
And remember, fam, true strength comes from within.