Everyone loves to debate how strong manga and anime characters are and who would win in a fight. Could Naruto in Baryon mode beat Gear 5 Luffy in a fight, or could Goku in Ultra Instinct take on base-form Saitama from One-Punch Man? While it’s impossible to truly come to a definitive conclusion to some of these questions, it is fun to try and figure out what actual limit a character like Saitama has to his strength.
Saitama achieved his incredible strength by working out for a year and a half with a regimen that consisted of 100 daily push-ups, sit-ups, and squats, plus 10 km of daily running.
Part of the problem with figuring out Saitama’s power levels is that One-Punch Man is basically a shonen satire, and Saitama represents the characters who seemingly have no limits to their power. While shonen protagonists often meet characters that are exceedingly difficult to overcome, Saitama’s twist is that he has become so powerful that absolutely no character is a challenge to him. Even beings that are capable of planetary destruction only require one “serious punch” from Saitama to take them down for good.
Still, Saitama’s immense power in One-Punch Man is able to be compared to other heroes in the series, who have impressive feats of their own that don’t live up to Saitama’s. The heroes that realize Saitama has seemingly unlimited power, like his disciple Genos, have even asked him how he achieved his incredible power. Of course, the answer isn’t quite what anyone would expect.
According to Saitama, he was a normal guy who wanted to be a hero, and he achieved his incredible strength by working out for a year and a half with a regimen that consisted of 100 daily push-ups, sit-ups, and squats, plus 10 km of daily running. While this is a fairly intense workout regimen, it obviously doesn’t lead to someone becoming capable of destroying planets with a single punch. One-Punch Man is hilarious in this way and has continued to be fairly obtuse about giving us any real insight into the origin of Saitama’s power.
Saitama’s twist is that he has become so powerful that absolutely no character is a challenge to him.
Fortunately, the other characters in One-Punch Man are just as curious as we are about how Saitama could achieve such incredible strength, and no one in the series believes him about his workout regimen granting him his strength. Saitama himself has kicked back about this a bit, saying that the regimen made him bald and that he almost died a couple of times during his training.
It’s also worth noting that Saitama ended up fighting some monsters in the course of his training, which would obviously make it a bit more intense than your average workout regimen.
Still, there are plenty of heroes in One-Punch Man who have intense training regimens and that fight monsters all the time. Genos pretty much listens to everything that Saitama says as his student, but he also believes that Saitama doesn’t really understand the mysterious origin of his power.
To date, the best explanation we’ve received for Saitama’s powers is that he removed his “limiter.”
In One-Punch Man, the genius scientist Dr. Genus coined the term ‘limiter’ to describe the theoretical barrier a person or monster has for their physical growth and strength. While hero characters are capable of surpassing their natural limitations, this doesn’t mean they have broken their limiters. The same can be said for monsters, which have a higher natural limiter than humans, but the limiter still exists at that higher level.
Genus’ theory surmises that the God of One-Punch Man puts limits on every physical being to prevent overwhelming power and strength from becoming too much for a body to handle. If a person’s strength becomes too much for their body to handle, they would become mindless and turn into monsters. However, Saitama seemingly was able to remove this limiter with pure effort, and now his strength continues to grow at an exponential rate, meaning there is no longer any limit to how powerful he can become.
In other words, Saitama sort of just got his strength through hard work, and now his strength has no truly measurable limit. While that may be an unsatisfying explanation for some, that’s just sort of how the One-Punch Man manga and anime roll sometimes. Maybe we’ll get a more clear definition of Saitama’s power someday, but it seems pretty unlikely that we’ll ever get a truly definitive explanation.