While the overall winner of the NPC USA Championships are given much publicity and heralded for good reason, there have been other professionals to come out of the runner up position in the overall posedown. One such recipient of an IFBB pro card that was not a winner is Lionel “L-Train” Brown.
Brown, now a resident of Temecula, Calif. but originally from Long Beach, is no stranger to most bodybuilding fans. A top five finisher in numerous pro qualifiers, Brown’s foray into bodybuilding came by way of a very popular bodybuilding movie.
“My friend took me to see Pumping Iron and I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno and I gained a vision in my head.,” he said. He said once he saw eight time Mr. Olympia Lee Haney he was hooked.
“I wanted to look like that guy(Haney),” he said.
With a vision in his head, it was off to the races for Brown whose first foray in to competitive bodybuilding was the 1993 NPC San Diego Championships. Brown said the contest was a learning experience for him.
“I didn’t train legs, “ he said adding that he trained his upper body only. After the show, Brown started legs and said, “the rest is history,”
Step by step, Brown built himself up to a force. When asked what he did to build upon his experience at the San Diego, he said he learned how to do things correctly.
“I learned how to eat, rest and train and how to be patient,” he said. Brown said patience is something which has been influential to his success.
“People think there is some magic pill, and there’s not. You have to learn your craft,” he said.
In learning his craft, Brown spent a lot of time in Venice Beach, Calif during his formative bodybuilding years and struck up friendly relationships with numerous pros, one of which was IFBB Hall of Famer Ken “Flex” Wheeler. Brown said the Venice crew let him know how much potential he had.
“ They instilled confidence in me, but I also did my homework and it paid off.
It paid off in the form of numerous top five finishes eventually culminated in him receiving a pro card at the 2006 USA’s.
Brown made his professional debut at the 2007 IFBB New York Pro and placed 16th. Brown said after that finish he wanted to walk away from the sport but in retrospect, he said he wasn’t ready.
“It was a big blowup in my face,” he said.
Undaunted he competed and recently finished sixth at the 2012 Australian Grand Prix. Brown is now under the tutelage of George Farah so he can take his physique to the “next level”.
“We’re on a hiatus right now and we’re bringing up weaknesses,” he said.
Brown’s training philosophy is simple and came from another IFBB Hall of Famer, Kevin Levrone. In a chance meeting with Levrone while he was an amateur, Brown asked him what he needed to do to get to the pro stage.
“Kevin said I had to train heavy,” he said, and that has been Brown’s calling card as he remains a heavy trainer.
Brown’s life philosophy is equally simplistic, a man of faith, he said he doesn’t let anything in or out of the sport of bodybuilding define him.
“I stand on good morals, because if I don’t stand for something, Lionel Brown ain’t nothing.
With his season over for the time being, Brown said he gives thanks to God, his wife, Myrtice Brown, Charles Glass and fellow IFBB Pro Melvin Anthony for helping him “make a dream come true.”
Brown lists his split and his leg workout
Monday- Chest /Calves
Leg Extensions 4 sets 25 reps
Squats 6 sets 8-15 reps
Leg Presses 6 sets 20 reps
4 sets 15 reps lying hamstring curls.
4 sets 15 reps seated leg curls.
4 sets 15 reps stiff legged dead lifts.