The ASTRO members have been showing off their immense talents since their debut, but getting there wasn’t easy. In a new video, the group’s choreographer revealed how grueling their dance training schedule was.

Over the years, dance team Code 88 has trained and created choreography for some of the most-loved groups in K-Pop, including MONSTA X, VICTON, STAYC, and ASTRO. In a new “Comment Defenders” interview with AYO on YouTube, Code 88 dance leader Ko Kyung Joon gave a little insight into what ASTRO went through during their training.

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Code88’s Ko Kyung Joon (left) & Lee Yu Jong (right) | AYO 에이요/YouTube

Ko Kyung Joon started by explaining that ASTRO was the first male idol group Fantagio Entertainment had ever debuted. The company produced girl group Hello Venus in 2012 and South Korea’s first “actor group” 5URPRISE in 2013, but boy groups were new territory. As such, the agency asked Ko, “Can ASTRO compete in sharp group dance with other great idols?

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ASTRO in 2016 | ASTRO 아스트로 /YouTube

Given ASTRO’s immense talent today, it should come as no surprise that Ko Kyung Joon knew “they had the skills to compete with.” So, Fantagio Entertainment asked him to handle the group’s choreography. However, getting to the skill level they have now didn’t come easy for ASTRO.

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| AYO 에이요/YouTube

Ko Kyung Joon revealed that while training sessions were supposed to last just two hours on average, Code 88 ended up training ASTRO for seven to nine hours every day. This grueling training schedule lasted a staggering total of two whole years. They spent so much time on training, instead of telling the members, “Great job,” at the end of the day, Ko Kyung Joon told them, “See you in a few hours.”

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ASTRO in 2016 | ASTRO 아스트로 /YouTube

The training was so intense, it even had an impact on their nutrition. According to Ko, agencies don’t usually allow idols to have snacks because of their strict diet regimes. In ASTRO’s case, the group’s manager at Fantagio Entertainment would bring them lots of snacks. However, since they were expending so much energy, the members never gained any weight.

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| AYO 에이요/YouTube

Ko Kyung Joon relayed a message to ASTRO in the interview: “I’m sorry guys… It was tough, yeah?” That said, the boys’ hard work definitely paid off to make them the incredible performers they are today.

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