How Women’s Physique Bodybuilder Margarita Abdulla Became an IFBB Pro

The 2022 Amateur Olympia champion shared her journey.

Rising International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro Margarita Abdulla made waves in the Women’s Physique division in 2022 when she won that year’s Amateur Olympia. At five feet tall, Abdulla accomplished this feat in a division that features athletes with the most muscular physiques outside of Women’s Bodybuilding.

In a YouTube video published on March 27, 2023, Abdulla walked through her bodybuilding journey, from missing first callouts in her debut bodybuilding contest to becoming an IFBB Pro. Check it out below:

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Margarita Abdulla’s Entrance to Bodybuilding

Abdulla’s bodybuilding journey began in 2016 at age 20. After four months of training with her father, she appeared in her first contest in the Figure division. That was the only year she competed in that class.

One of the judges at her debut competition suggested she move to the Bikini division since she would not need to carry as much muscle on her frame. However, Abdulla believed that comment derived from her recently built muscle. Bikini was not the division Abdulla wanted to compete in. 

After ranking ninth overall out of the 10 contenders, Abdulla took a hiatus from competing to focus on improving her physique. 

I knew I needed to spend more than four f***ing months in the gym.

Fast forward six years of hard work and dedication, and Abdulla entered her second show, the Chris Cormier Classic. She moved to the Women’s Physique division and scored second place in the open, first place in novice, and received the best poser award. She credits working with Chris Cormier for her success. 

“Training with Chris Cormier helped my development because of the techniques that he taught us. Those were the game-changers for me and my development,” Adbulla remarked. “[Cormier’s training methodology] is excruciating and hard, but it works.”


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A post shared by Margarita Abdulla | IFBB PRO (@atalkingmargarita)

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Winning the 2022 Amatauer Olympia, Despite a Small Stature 

For the 2022 Amatauer Olympia, Abdulla worked with nutrition coach Chris Massaro to improve her conditioning. Abdulla recalled the show had a competitive lineup with over 20 athletes. 

I remember showing up to that show, saying, holy f***, these bitches are jacked. What did I get myself into?

Coordinators of the show asked if Abdulla was in the proper division due to her smaller stature compared to the other competitors. Abdulla responded:

I know I look small, covered up, but I promise I have every component I need.

Abdulla silenced the critics when the judges awarded her first place overall and her IFBB Pro card.

“Getting the overall was not what I had expected,” Abdulla expressed. “That gave me the validation that I was looking for. Especially being the smallest person on stage and being a petite woman in a muscular sport.” 

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Featured image: @atalkingmargarita on Instagram