YouTube star Joe Weller racks up millions of views on each video he posts, and his impressive physique is often on display. That being said, his six-pack abs don’t come easy: In fact, Weller says he’s put himself through a full “body transformation” time and time again. In a new video posted to his YouTube channel that’s accumulated over 2 million views, Weller details his many physical transformations, including how and why he does them.
Early in the video, Weller talks about his youth, when he wasn’t the ripped YouTuber he is today, but a kid who was more on the chubby side. He was known as “Man Boob Weller,” he says, and at age 12 he was kicked off his soccer team for “being too fat.”
Throughout the video, Weller takes a self-deprecating look at his own body transformation as he put the work in. While he was skinny when he first began to hit the gym at age 14, he managed to get himself into solid shape by age 16 and 17. But then, as he puts it, “life happened.”
Weller says that he’s done the ‘body transformation’ time and time again—getting in shape, and then falling back out of shape as he burns out on the routine, or becomes distracted by other commitments. “I’ve actually done this body transformation so many times before, that I’m literally the king of being inconsistent,” he says.
The most important aspects of transforming himself, he says, are sticking to a few consistent things: a healthy diet (with one full cheat day built in), along with a consistent cardio routine, whether it’s running or doing something a little more fun, like playing a sport, and a solid gym regimen.
Weller points out a few specific exercises that he likes to focus on: bench press, shoulder press, squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, dumbbell lateral raises, and a hybrid of crunches and a sort of leg-crunch hybrid for abs.
He also points out the importance of creating and understanding your body’s calorie deficit; knowing how many calories your body needs just to run, and knowing how you can burn calories from that point to cut fat. If you need to be at, say, 2,000 calories a day, taking in 1,500 calories won’t benefit you—your body will actually retain the fat just to operate at that point, rather than allowing it to be burned off. Weller says that he manages to track all of this using the MyFitnessPal app.
He advises people not to judge any specific plan or routine until they’ve done it for 12 weeks straight. More importantly, he suggests that you don’t allow laziness to win out too often. Sometimes you won’t be able to get to a gym for a couple days, or you won’t have the option to eat right. That’s normal. But don’t let those missed gym sessions be the beginning of a downward spiral, he says—be diligent and get back on track. “Enjoy life, but stay in control,” he says.
While Weller says that he started working out and getting himself into top shape initially as a way to impress girls, the main reason why he keeps doing it is to be the best version of himself. In the end, that’s his most important takeaway for his millions of viewers: You shouldn’t be doing what you do in the gym for anyone else but you.
This article originally appeared on Men’s Health