ARC Review: How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? Vol. 1 by Sandrovich Yabako, MAAM

How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? Vol. 1How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? Vol. 1 by Sandrovich Yabako
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Sakura is a teenage girl who loves to eat, but when she notices her waistline expanding, she decides to check out the local gym. The gym is full of buff dudes…and Akemi, the student council president?! When Akemi tries to convince Sakura to take up weight training, Sakura resists–until she meets pretty-boy trainer Machio. Now, Sakura is willing to do whatever it takes to bulk up!

What the heck did I just read? This felt more like a fitness guide than a story! The plot is about a high school girl who joins the gym to lose weight, but gets attracted to the idea of toning her body. Now, I would like to affirm that yes, it talks about exercise more in the ‘get fit and make your body strong’ way instead of ‘lose weight’ way. In fact, it goes further to dispel a lot of myths regarding the same – like diet culture, and how it is more harmful than beneficial, how to build muscles instead of just losing fat, and even suggests that girls don’t need to be think of having muscles as not feminine. There’s even sources cited! But on the other hand, this barely has any plot. There’s only their otaku teacher who is trying to hide her cosplay hobby from her students, and Sakura learning more about her friends. Also, it has some erotic ‘diagrams’ to show the muscles being targeted for each lesson, and it doesn’t help the manga that for some reason the girls are suddenly having less clothing than in the scene before. Lampshading it isn’t exactly helping here – these are still underage girls being shown in skimpy scenes for the purpose of fanservice (I know the cover is a huge clue but come on!) The comedy is not up to the mark, either – the biggest gag is only that the slim-looking trainer has a penchant for suddenly taking off his clothes and showing off his extremely buff body. I mean, it was funny the first few times, but it got tiring by the time the book ended.

Verdict: informative, but is it really a story? also, why is there so much fanservice?!

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2 thoughts on “ARC Review: How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? Vol. 1 by Sandrovich Yabako, MAAM

  1. I haven’t read the manga, but have watched the anime. The later episodes have more story and less exercise, but don’t expect anything deep from the plot. I enjoyed the eye candy and to be fair they catered to all tastes by having buff dudes in addition to the ladies. If the book motivates the stereotypical otaku to get fit it deserves praise.

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