I began weightlifting consistently in January, and the beautiful art of picking heavy things up and then putting them down has been immensely satisfying. I also reignited my passion for manga and anime in January, and the ancient practice of binge watching Yu Yu Hakusho until it feels like my brain is going to push my eyeballs out of my face has been an absolute joy. That said, these two interests coming together at a specific point in my life has aroused a question that has been asked by scholars since the beginning of time: “How am I supposed to go to the gym when there’s all this anime that needs to be watched?”
However, the solution is quite simple: Use the anime to fuel the workout. And I don’t mean doing deadlifts while the best My Hero Academia opening blares through your headphones. You can (and should) do that, too, but I’m talking about watching certain anime scenes to get you pumped to go to the gym. The reason people even go to the gym is to eventually look like their favorite shonen heroes, right? Someone please tell me that I’m right about this.
Well, regardless of why you go the gym, here are five anime scenes that will pump you up:
Goku and Vegeta Train With Whis – Dragon Ball Super
Working out with a friend is the best, as you get inspiration and competition all wrapped up in one buddy. You push your friend to go harder, lift heavier, and sweat less because the bench is starting to get gross. The only thing that could make working out with a friend better is if that friend was Vegeta. So that’s just one more reason to be jealous of Goku, as he gets to train with Vegeta. And not Dragon Ball Z Vegeta, who initially wants to tear Goku’s head off, but Dragon Ball Super Vegeta who is a little bit friendlier and only THINKS about wanting to tear Goku’s head off.
The training with Whis in Dragon Ball Super is great because it shows that, no matter how strong you are and how impossibly thick your trapezius muscles are, it’s always good to try and improve yourself. By the time Dragon Ball Super rolls around, Goku could burp slightly to the left and he’d knock a mountain over. The dude is amazingly powerful. But he could be stronger, so he keeps training.
Midoriya Moves The Garbage – My Hero Academia
Izuku Midoriya doesn’t look like someone that should be inheriting All Might’s powers. At the start of My Hero Academia, he’s roughly two feet tall, has the muscle mass of a hot dog, and he gets most of his exercise from shouting at internet videos of other heroes. If he was to try and SMASH evil, it would crumple his body, leaving him to mutter about supervillain weaknesses from a full body cast for the rest of his life.
So All Might has him push garbage around to get him in shape, despite the fact that the only gift that Midoriya will probably get from that is overwhelming amounts of tetanus. But it works, and it goes to show you that you can’t be afraid to put in a little effort to get the results you want. I’m no Adonis. I look like Gollum auditioned for an Old Navy commercial. But if you have an ambition to get stronger or be healthier or grow muscles that will eclipse the sun, consistent effort does you right.
Luffy Returns From Training – One Piece
No, all of my friends did not get blown away to different locations by Bartholomew Kuma, leaving me to rescue my fiery brother from execution at the hands of the World Government. But anyone can relate to Luffy wanting to get stronger due to him having anxiety about failure. This sounds silly, but I used to literally get anxiety about opening heavy doors in public places. What if I can’t open it? What if someone laughs at my weird noodle arms? What if I’m stuck trying to open it for hours and then my high school crush walks up and tells me that Shirobako isn’t as good as I think it is? But now, I can walk up to any door without fear.
Luffy coming back after two years of training and absolutely laying waste to his enemies is him opening that door. He worked out, and so did his whole crew, so that they would no longer have to fear losing one another. Yes, it is weird that the metaphor that I’ve chosen for losing your whole family in an instant is opening a door in the mall, but we all have anxieties that we face and some of them are about stuff that is very physical. So hit that weight room, and if you’re lucky, your opening theme will start playing just as you surpass your previous personal record.
Yusuke Trains For The Dark Tournament – Yu Yu Hakusho
When Yu Yu Hakusho starts, Yusuke doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that would spend a ton of time at the gym, much less training in any way. He’s pretty content with beating up other kids. But for the Dark Tournament, he’s got to actually put some effort in. Otherwise, some demon is gonna cram his foot down Yusuke’s throat and wear him around like a shoe.
No one wants to workout in the beginning. It’s not fun and it makes you hurt everywhere. And because every fitness product ad features someone saying “Do you wanna know how I put on SIXTY POUNDS OF MUSCLE in just NINE MINUTES?”, you’re gonna get down on yourself when all you find at the end of the first week is pain. So watching Yusuke grumble through early training is inspiring because you understand Yusuke. You don’t want to be there either, but you have to, because the Dark Tournament is coming up and it would be a real bummer if you stepped in there and immediately got all your limbs ripped off.
Rock Lee Kicks That Stump – Naruto
You’re probably not Luffy. Or Ichigo. Or Goku. Or All Might. Or Naruto. Or even Midoriya. You’re not “the chosen one,” or the one spoken of in legend, or even one that appears on a lot of the manga volume covers. No, unless you’re a prodigy, you’re probably someone like Rock Lee, which means that you’re gonna have to work if you want to accomplish your goals. When everyone else is doing magic ninja backflips through the forest and getting their faces put on backpacks at Hot Topic, you’re kicking that stump, trying to keep up.
The first time you walk up to that rack of free weights – that seemingly endless wall of dumbbells that begins at five pounds and ends at “size of a foot stool,” you’re going to see people beside you throwing weights around like it’s nothing. I remember seeing myself in the mirror, struggling to get that twenty pounder up for a curl and thinking “Oh no. I’ve made a huge mistake. I shouldn’t be here. Is that person looking at me? Are they making fun of me? ANIME WOULD NEVER MAKE FUN OF ME.”
But if you have a goal, you Rock Lee through it. And if you’re lucky, people will watch your sweet fight with Gaara while they’re on the treadmill.