New York Giants Cornerback Prince Amukamara Talks Sobriety, Virginity and Christian Faith
M&F: What has been the focus of your offseason training this year?
PA: The focus of my offseason is always the same-and that's to get bigger, faster, and stronger. Every year I go back to the University of Nebraska, my alma mater. I feel secluded. I'm away from everything else. There's no distractions there, so it's the perfect place to train. That, plus the strength and conditioning coaches were amazing when I was there, and they're still there. I work with the same guys.
What were some of your best lifts ever during your college years? Most NFL players lift heavier in college than they do in the pros.
I would say my best lift was the squat. We never did a one-rep max, but we would do rep maxes for 10. I did 405 for 10 deep reps, all the way down.
Looking at tape from last season, what do you think you need to get better at on the field?
I'd say reading coverages better and knowing what's going to happen before the quarterback snaps the ball, so pre-snap reads, looking at film and having the confidence to jump a route. I need to have the confidence to take a risk, because there are so many times [last year] when I recognized a formation and played it safe.
What is Coach Coughlin's philosophy on strength and conditioning? He's known for being an old-school guy, but one drawback to some of the old-school guys is they believe you need to do a lot of running, drills like gassers and things like that, which don't have any carryover to on-field production. Does he allow his strength and conditioning staff to be more progressive than that?
Yeah, he's more hands-off. He does get on us if he thinks we're out of shape. He's not afraid to tell us that. I think his focus is just doing the best you can and taking care of your body. If that means extra stretching, getting in the cold tub, the sauna, you need to get treatment-he's all about maintenance, just taking care of your body.
Your mindset in the gym, is it anything like your mindset on the field?
I like the workout to be hard. I like to be tired when it's done. I condition before I start lifting, so I do something that gets my blood flowing and my heart pumping. I need to perform well while being fatigued as I would in the fourth quarter of a game.
What's your weight and bodyfat percentage right now?
I'm 206 pounds, and 7.8% bodyfat.
What does a typical day of eating look like for you?
I don't cook at all, to be honest. But I don't eat fast food and don't drink soda. I haven't since I've been in the NFL. By cutting those things out, it gives me a chance to be successful, but I take it to another level by eating as many vegetables as I can, lots of chicken, no bacon, just common-sense choices. One rule I go by is to make my plate as colorful as I can.
Say you have a 1:00 game on Sunday and you have to be to the stadium early. What do you eat that's not going to weigh you down but still give you enough energy to perform?
I try to eat oatmeal with raisins and nuts, or scrambled eggs with cheese and two pieces of whole-wheat toast. Fruit like pineapple and apples-those give me a lot of energy so I've been adding a lot of fruit to my diet, as well.
When we spoke right after you entered the league, you said you had never been drunk in your life, and that you've actually never had a drop of alcohol. Is that still true?
A lot can happen in that time, but it is still true. I still haven't had a drink. I told my fiancé that I'll probably take my first drink at my bachelor party. I don't know if I will, but...
Maybe you should wait til the wedding. If you do it at the bachelor party, that could get out of hand quickly.
[Laughs] I know. I still haven't had one, though.
If you plan on having one, clearly you're not against it. How is it that you've waited this long?
I grew up Catholic, so it just started out as one of those things. I'd think, "If I do this, maybe I can get to heaven," so I said no drinks, no sex, all the big things. As I grew up, I realized that's not what it's about. It's about having a relationship with Jesus. It's not about "Don't do this. Don't do that." But still, it's just one of those things I haven't done, and I don't see any benefit to doing it. You're always reading about people getting DUIs. So many bad things that happen and wind up in the paper are alcohol-related, so by not drinking, it saves me, my team, and my family a lot of trouble.
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