Baki Hanma fighting a giant imaginary preying mantis

How Baki Hanma got his absurd physique and how Baki trains

By Steven Rondina

|

Jul 2, 2022

Reading time: 2 min

A defining feature of Baki media is the absurd physique of the main cast. But how did Baki and friends become so muscular, and are their methods for training actually effective in real life?

The Baki series waffles back and forth between realism and fantastic absurdity. Characters based on real-life politicians and famous athletes share the stage with yetis and cavemen defrosted from blocks of ice. Similarly, there are some training practices and dietary regimens that can be emulated, but also some “Popeye eating spinach” style power-ups.

Here’s how Baki got so big, what he does to train and maintain that size, and what lessons can be taken from Baki’s training.

How did Baki get his physique?

Baki got his muscles by eating hundreds of pounds of meat in the form of wild game.

Though Baki has always been a naturally strong fighter and in good shape, he wasn’t always so densely muscled. At the start of the Kid Baki arc in Baki the Grappler, Baki has a relatively normal build. He was still strong and skilled after years of training arranged by his mother, but he wasn’t the powerhouse fans are now familiar with.

There’s a definitive moment during the arc where his physique transforms into what Baki fans are now familiar with. While living in the mountains with Reiichi Andou, Baki is attacked by Yasha-Zaru. Andou bears the brunt of the attack and has most of his right hand severed as a result, which results in him being hospitalized for an undefined length of time.

Baki swears revenge against Yasha-Zaru and redoubles his training. As part of this, he eats his way through hundreds of pounds of meat that Andou has in his house. This sparks a radical body transformation, bulking Baki up in a profound way until he looks the way he does now.

What training and workouts does Baki do?

Baki has a diverse training regimen that includes many conventional exercise routines and some more outlandish ones. He is shown doing everything from running to bag work and jogging. There are some more extreme iterations of this training, like doing thumb and fingertip pushups, one-armed pull-ups, and other wild workouts.

That said, the main source of Baki’s strength isn’t any specific type of training. It’s implied that Yujiro Hanma passively becomes stronger as time goes on and doesn’t actually need any training. Baki also reaches this point during Baki-Dou and as such, he no longer needs to train.

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