Lionel “L-Train” Brown figures his next stop in Miami, for the 2006 NPC National Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships on Nov. 10-11 at the Jackie Gleason Theater, will be his last as an amateur bodybuilder.

In his first excursion to Miami for the NPC’s crown jewel in 2003, Brown placed fifth in the heavyweight class. He skipped the contest in each of the past two years, but that doesn’t mean Brown hasn’t been working hard – he placed second to eventual heavyweight winner Mike Ergas at the USA’s in July. At 5’9” and planning to weigh in at 224 pounds, Brown insists his conditioning will be better than at that contest.

For insight into Brown’s dedication, check out “Card Chase” in the November FLEX, which details his precontest lead-in to what turned out to be his second USA heavyweight runner-up finish. Now, after a 10-week diet, Brown is ready to put it all on the line again for a second time this year. “I’ve been on the national scene since ’03, and I’ve had some bumps and bruises,” Brown says. “I’m ready to move on to the next level.”

That’s not to say that it’s going to be an easy trip to Toytown for Brown, as at least two dozen heavyweights will be looking to derail the L-Train. Among the formidable competition will be T.J. Hewitt (third heavyweight in 2004), Grigori Atoyan (second in 2004), Jeff Schwartzer (second in 2003), Darrell Terrell (fourth in 2005) and Adorthus Cherry (third heavyweight at the 2006 USA).