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Still on their way to Mossdeep City, Ash and friends arrive at Ganga Island, which has two small mountains that are shaped like an arm flexing its bicep. After they disembark, May wonders where the nearest coffee shop is. Brock consults his guidebook, and they begin to explore. They soon hear a crowd of people chanting “one…two…one…two…” and wonder what’s going on.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket crashes onto shore in their Magikarp sub, and they all quickly abandon ship, yelling in fright. After they take cover behind some boulders, Jessie asks Meowth exactly why they had to run. Before Meowth can answer, the sub is swept away by a giant wave. They stare in stunned silence before arguing over whose fault it was, and over the fact that they’re now stranded. Then they hear the same “one…two…one…two…” that Ash & friends heard earlier, and also decide to investigate.
The source of the chants turns out to be a nearby open area where a group of weightlifters are doing various exercises. One man wearing sunglasses is doing arm exercises with a heavy-looking steel Pokeball, another man is lifting a Geodude on each hand as if they were dumbbells, and a woman is doing sit-ups while a Blastoise spots her. Other exercises are going on in the background. Ash and friends watch as the leader of the weightlifting group, Iwashimizu, shouts encouragement to his friends. He then approaches and introduces himself. Brock asks Iwashimizu if there are any shops nearby, and he says that there are none. He then asks about Ash’s journey, and then Ash figures out that the weight trainers are also Pokemon trainers. Everyone introduces themselves, and Iwashimizu explains his group’s philosophy: that when trainers work on improving their strength, it inspires their Pokemon to do the same and thereby become stronger in battle. At Iwashimizu’s invitation, Ash, Max, and Brock decide to try the weight training, much to May’s dismay.
Of course, Team Rocket is watching this whole scene from the nearby bushes. Meowth gets the idea that they should join the weight-training group as well. He has a vision of a paranoid Boss being comforted by the presence of a noticeably bulked-up Jessie, James, and Meowth as his bodyguards. Meowth begins to cheer, but Jessie interrupts him, saying it’s a stupid idea. James, however, is fired up, believing that physical weakness is a big reason they keep losing to the twerps and have yet to capture Pikachu. Jessie and Meowth are unimpressed by James’ dramatic display. Suddenly, the shades-wearing guy from earlier shows up and asks if they want to join the training program with the others. Jessie and Meowth are hesitant, but James immediately accepts.
Meanwhile, Max tries to lift the steel Pokeball the shades guy was lifting so easily earlier, but can’t even get it off the ground. One of the weight trainers encourages him. Even May has decided to join them, and is even enjoying herself as she rides an exercise bike and has a conversation with the female Blastoise trainer from earlier. Iwashimizu has assigned Ash and Pikachu to another mechanism. It consists of two ropes, hanging from one horizontal wheel each. The whole thing is attached to a generator via a pulley system. Ash and Pikachu are each clinging to a rope. When the machine is turned on, the wheels rotate, and the idea is for Ash and Pikachu to repeatedly change ropes. This turns out to be much more difficult than the two had anticipated.
Nearby, Team Rocket are happily running on a treadmill. They hesitate when Ash & friends approach, but ignore them and continue to run, sticking to their original plan. Ash warns Iwashimizu that Team Rocket are dangerous, but he says that they welcome anyone on the island, that Team Rocket hasn’t done anything yet, and that they seem to be content just working out. As Jessie, James, and Meowth talk to themselves on the treadmill, Iwashimizu suddenly challenges Ash to a battle! The other trainers say that Iwashimizu is the strongest trainer on the island, but that only makes Ash more intrigued. May and the others want to watch, of course, but Iwashimizu says that his group has a rule prohibiting spectators. Ash and Iwashimizu leave for their battle, and the other trainers approach to say that May and the others can continue training. Meanwhile, on the treadmill, Meowth figures that maybe this battle will be their chance to get Pikachu, since it will eventually be tired out. However, Jessie and James aren’t paying attention, instead focusing on keeping up their rhythm.
Some distance away, Ash and Iwashimizu take positions atop two rocks. Iwashimizu announces the rules, saying that it will be a double battle, and Ash agrees. Iwashimizu sends out a Walrein and a Quagsire, and Ash counters with Pikachu and Grovyle. Ash starts by having Pikachu fire a Thunderbolt at Walrein, but Iwashimizu has Quagsire get in front of Walrein and take the attack. Ash and Pikachu thought they were off to a good start, but Quagsire emerges unscathed from the attack. Ash then remembers that Quagsire is partly a Ground-type, so electricity won’t work on it.
While all this is going on, Brock, May, and Max, are all doing sit-ups, as a Geodude spots each of them. Jessie and Meowth, still on the treadmill, are tiring. To their dismay, the shades guy informs them that they aren’t done yet. James, however, is showing no signs of fatigue, and is still fired up to keep going.
Back at the battle, Iwashimizu orders an Ice Ball from Walrein. Pikachu and Grovyle both dodge the move using Quick Attack. Pikachu aims an Iron Tail at Walrein, and Grovyle lunges towards Quagsire for a Leaf Blade, but their opponents switch positions and neither attack does much damage. In fact, Pikachu and Grovyle actually appear to take some recoil. Walrein charges up another Ice Ball, and Ash tries Pikachu’s Thunderbolt again, but Quagsire gets in the way once more. Walrein completes its attack, and the larger Ice Ball scores a direct hit on both of Ash’s Pokemon. It seems that Iwashimizu’s strategy has been to train Quagsire to be adept at blocking moves, while Walrein serves as the powerhouse.
May, Max, and Brock are doing push-ups now, each with a Pokemon on their backs. Max has his sister’s Skitty, May has her Bulbasaur, and Brock has his Lombre. The humans are tiring and complain a bit. Jessie and Meowth are still tiring as well, but James is still at a jogging pace on the treadmill, as the weight trainers observe them. Jessie tries a plan to distract them and make their escape, pretending to notice a nonexistent Wobbuffet nearby. The plan backfires, though, because James is fooled as well, and shades his eyes as he looks for it. Jessie and Meowth facefault, and James continues to keep up the pace on the treadmill.
Back at the battle, Ash tells Grovyle to use Bullet Seed, but Quagsire and Walrein take cover behind some rocks. Ash tells Grovyle and Pikachu to attack the ball with Iron Tail and Leaf Blade, but they aren’t quick enough, and the Ice Ball strikes them again.
At the training area, Max gets an idea. He tells the trainers that he wants to go get something he left back on the boat. They offer to get it for him, but May and Brock say that the item is really hard to describe, so they’d rather go themselves. They’re allowed to go, so they grab their stuff, and no doubt have to stifle smirks as they pass Team Rocket. Jessie and Meowth angrily yell at James for letting the twerps go.
Meanwhile, at the battle, Ash has no idea what to do next, but then he notices the time it takes for Walrein to charge its Ice Ball, as Pikachu and Grovyle dodge another one. He then gets an idea. Iwashimizu orders another Ice Ball, and Walrein charges it up. Ash quickly tells Pikachu to hit Walrein with Thunderbolt. As expected, Quagsire takes the attack. It has to stay in one place to do so, so Ash takes advantage of that and has Grovyle Leaf Blade it, for a powerful hit. Pikachu then jumps on Grovyle’s head leaf, and Grovyle throws it towards Walrein. From the air, Pikachu releases another Thunderbolt, scoring a direct hit this time. Quagsire and Walrein both faint, and Pikachu and Grovyle are the winners! Iwashimizu recalls his Pokemon, thanks them for a good battle, and congratulates Ash, complimenting him on his strategy. Iwashimizu comments on what he has learned from battling Ash, and that’s when Brock and the others show up. They ask how the battle went, and Ash tells them he won. Iwashimizu then points them towards the ferry they need to take.
Later, Ash & friends are on a ferry bound for Mossdeep City, unaware that Team Rocket is also on the boat, disguised as sailors. James watches the twerps while Jessie and Meowth complain about their sore muscles. James says that now that they’re stronger from their physical training, this is their chance to steal Pikachu. They approach the twerps, and say that they’re inspecting all Pokemon on board. James reaches for Pikachu, but Ash instinctively grabs James’ arm, as Pikachu cries out. Ash demands to know who they are, and J&J start their motto. Meowth interrupts them to point out that if they’re going to do the motto, there’s no point in keeping the disguises on. Jessie agrees and says that they haven’t done the motto yet today either, so they remove the disguises and continue. When they’re done, James brags about their new strength while Jessie produces a net and snags Pikachu. Ash grabs it, and it turns into an all-out tug-of-war between the two sides, much to Pikachu’s discomfort. Pikachu finally lets out a Thunderbolt out of stress. It blasts off Team Rocket, but it also blasts off Pikachu, Ash, and the others! The episode ends with that cliffhanger, leaving their fate to the next episode.
Thanks To Geodude For Writing this for us
372: Training Wrecks
372: Muscle Battle! Double Battle!
Between Lilycove & Mossdeep
None of Consequence