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Ndamukong Suh

MF catches up with the Detroit Lions' 6'4", 307-pound rookie defensive tackle

His name is pronounced "en-DOM-ah-ken soo." Start practicing now. You'll be saying it a lot for the next several years. Here, we talk with the big guy about his training regimen, the transition between college and the pros, and what drives him to be a dominate force on the gridiron.

What's your favorite lift?
I love squats. It just makes you feel strong, especially when you go heavy. During [my senior] season, I squatted 460 pounds and around 315 using bands for more resistance. Sometimes I use chains to make the top of the lift more difficult.

You posted impressive results at the NFL Combine: 32 reps in the 225-pound bench press test, and a vertical jump of 35.5 inches. How did you train for that?
I wanted to get back into what I call my "sexy"—that means more "cut up." I was at Michael Johnson Performance down in Texas for about six weeks, then back in Lincoln, Nebraska, for our pro day. There's really nothing secretive about my training—I did a lot of squats, bench presses, 60-yard shuttle runs, and sprints.

What was the toughest part about transitioning from college to the pros?
Just making sure you were getting in the weight room, especially since you're on your own and you don't have a coach bearing down on you. Not that I ever needed that [extra push]. For me, it's very simple. I like being in the weight room. I like being strong and knowing that I put in the time to be strong.

If we looked inside your fridge, we'd find . . . ?
Absolutely nothing. I've been traveling so much, all you'd find is juice. But the last meal I cooked, let's see, was salmon, asparagus, and rice. Good carbs, good protein—I naturally eat well.

What motivates you?
To be the best. I also think about my family, I just want to put them in a position to live comfortably for a long time.

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