The biography, life, and accomplishments of Kamal Elgargni

Libyan-British professional bodybuilder, Kamal Elgargni, who competes in the 212 division in the IFBB Pro League, is one of the most accomplished 212 bodybuilders. To name a few of his titles, Kamal has won the 212 Mr. Olympia in 2019, as well as the Arnold Classic in 2018.

Below is a complete breakdown of Kamal Elgargni’s profile, stats, biography, training and diet regimens.

Full Name: Kamal Elgargni (Men’s 212 Bodybuilder)

Weight Height Date Of Birth
212 lbs 5’6″ 11/21/1971
Division Era Nationality
Men’s 212 1990, 2000, 2010, 2020 Libyan-British


Kamal Elgargni Biography

Born on Nov. 21, 1971, in Tripoli, Libya, Kamal Elgargni has one of the most inspirational stories of any bodybuilder. Kamal’s story a tale of a man who wouldn’t give up his passion for competitive bodybuilding, no matter what bodybuilding leagues or even his government threw at him.

Image courtesy of Instagram (@ifbb_pro_kamar_elgargni)

Elgargni started training in 1993, then he competed in and won his first competition in 1994, which was the Libyan championship. He competed in the 70kg weight class. However, in 1997 he moved to Malta before finally settling in the United Kingdom.

After moving to the UK, Elgarni started competing under the British flag, then won the 2001 NABBA Britain in his height class.

Competing in Qatar

From 2003 to 2017, Kamal competed under the Qatar flag. How Kamal, who was a Libyan national landed ended up in Qatar is a story in itself.

In 2013 Qatar hosted the Asian Olympic Games, but did not have good bodybuilders on its lineup. They then asked their bodybuilding coach, who was a Libyan, to get them good bodybuilders in exchange for the opportunity to compete at the national level as well as Qatari citizenship. Kamal Elgargni, a NABBA World Champion, fit the bill perfectly.

Taste of the IFBB

Before earning his pro card in 2018, Kamal Elgargni received an invite to compete at the 2003 Night of Champions, which is now the New York Pro, by Wayne DeMilia who was the Mr. Olympia promoter between 1984 and 2003. The “Lion of Libya” had qualified for the show by winning the IFBB Amateur UK. Unfortunately, Kamalfailed to make a statement at the contest, taking home the twenty-first spot our of 41 competitors.

Upon the twenty-first placing, Kamal had told his peers that this would be his first and last show. Shockingly, he had competed at the 2003 Nights of Champions in the Open division weighing only 75 kilograms (165 pounds) because at that time, there was no 212 division in the IFBB.


This led the Lion of Libya to feel that he could not compete with mass monsters such as Victor Martinez, who had won the 2003 Nights of Champions. If Kamal known what a mess it would be to return to the IFBB, he probably would never have surrendered his pro card.

Back to the Amateurs

Kamal Elgargni’s return to the amateur division lined perfectly with the opportunity to represent Qatar in 2003 at the Asian Olympics, which he seized.

Many people wonder why Kamal had chosen to remain an amateur bodybuilder rather than compete at the pro level. However, if you understand the the reality of things revolving around this sport, his career, and remove the emotions from the equation, the Lion of Libya had made the right decision by sticking to the amateur league.

It is definitely no secret that competing in the IFBB Pro League is a tough career. Most bodybuilders struggle to make a living solely from the sport, and in reality only a select few at the highest level make enough by way of contest earnings and sponsorships to afford a luxurious lifestyle. However, the Libyan bodybuilder always had an entrepreneurial side and understood the business side of the sport.

According to Kamal, the Qatari government would pay a bodybuilder $150,000 for winning a world championship. Kamal did it a total of sixteen times, which if you add it up is a nice chunk of change.

The Qatari government also paid for a bodybuilder’s accommodation and transport and took care of all other expenses. So, staying in the amateur division was very lucrative for Kamal.

Many bodybuilders in the Middle East are actually compensated by their governments for remaining in the amateur ranks and representing their country in World Championship competitions.

Trying to Return to the IFBB

Unfortunately, the Asian Bodybuilding Federation shut shop in 2011, so Kamal decided to return to England. Elgargni had shifted his base to Qatar to save himself the inconvenience of traveling between the countries.

The first Libyan Revolution had ended in 2011, and Elgargni decided to compete under his home country’s flag. As a result, he won the three shows he competed in that year.

Kamal had finally decided to go for his IFBB Pro card again in 2011. However, the IFBB, which could have been under pressure from the Libyan government, wouldn’t give him his pro card. Things then took a turn for the worse when IFBB banned Kamal for two years in 2011. Rightfully, Kamal appealed his ban and was allowed to compete under the Libyan flag after a year-and-a-half-long suspension. He then won the IFBB World Amateur Championships in 2013.

While demanding his pro card, the IFBB representatives in Libya, supposedly on the government’s behalf, told Kamal that they were unhappy with his appeal process. As a result, they banned him for life from the organization in 2013 without any paperwork or solid reason.

Between 2003–2014 he won six IFBB World Amateur class shows, 10 Asian Gold Cup wins, and multiple gold medals in the African and European Championships.

Officially Returning to the IFBB

Image courtesy of Instagram (@ifbb_pro_kamar_elgargni)

Thankfully, Kamal was allowed to compete again when the IFBB split into two separate entities, the IFBB Elite and IFBB Pro League, which happened in 2018. After the split, Kamal spoke to Jim Manion, the President of the IFBB Pro League. Manion lifted his ban and invited him to compete at the 2018 Arnold Classic.

Kamal won the 2018 Arnold Classic at the age of 47, which is an age that most pro bodybuilders contemplate hanging up their posing trunks, if they haven’t already.

Kamal then moved on and managed to secure a third-place finish at the 2018 Mr. Olympia. He shocked everyone with his improved physique at the 2019 Olympia and won his maiden 212 Olympia title, beating some big names such as Derek Lunsford and Shaun Clarida.

Kamal Elgargni Competition History

Kamal Elgargni has a very lengthy competition history so let’s dive in!


  • Texas Pro: Fourth-place
  • Tampa Pro: Second-place


  • Mr. Olympia: Third-place


  • Mr. Olympia: Second-place


  • Mr. Olympia: First-place


  • Arnold Classic: First-place
  • Mr. Olympia: Third-place


  • IFBB Asian Amateur Championships: Second-place (Classic)
  • IFBB Asian Amateur Championships: First-place (Heavyweight)
  • IFBB Asian Amateur Championships: Second-place (Masters (40+))
  • ABBF Asian Championships: First-place (Light-heavyweight)
  • ABBF Asian Championships: First-place (Overall)
  • IFBB Mediterranean Amateur Championships: First-place (Overall)
  • IFBB Mediterranean Amateur Championships: First-place (Light-heavyweight)
  • IFBB Mediterranean Amateur Championships: First-place (Masters)
  • IFBB World Amateur Championships: First-place (Light-heavyweight)


  • ABBF Asian Championships: First-place (Overall)
  • ABBF Asian Championships: First-place (Light-heavyweight)
  • WBPF World Championships: First-place (Light-heavyweight)


  • IFBB Arnold Amateur: First-place (Light-heavyweight)
  • IFBB World Amateur Championships: Fourth-place (Light-heavyweight)
  • World Games: Second-place (Heavyweight)


  • IFBB World Amateur Championships: First-place (Middleweight)


  • IFBB Asian Amateur Championships: First-place (Middleweight)
  • NPC Excalibur (Los Angeles): First-place (Light-heavyweight)


  • Asian Games: First-place (Middleweight)
  • IFBB World Amateur Championships: First-place (Middleweight)


  • IFBB Asian Amateur Championships: First-place (Middleweight)
  • IFBB World Amateur Championships: First-place (Middleweight)
  • World Games: First-place (Middleweight)


  • IFBB Asian Amateur Championships: First-place (Middleweight)


  • IFBB Asian Amateur Championships: First-place (Middleweight)
  • IFBB Night of Champions: 21st-place (did not place)
  • IFBB World Amateur Championships: Disqualified (Middleweight)


  • NABBA European Championships: First-place (Overall)
  • NABBA European Championships: First-place (Short)
  • NABBA World Championships: First-place (Overall)
  • NABBA World Championships: First-place (Short)


  • NABBA Mr. Universe: First-place (Short)

Training of Kamal Elgargni

Image courtesy of Instagram (@ifbb_pro_kamar_elgargni)

Kamal has been training for almost three decades, so he very much understands his body and how it reacts to training. Kamal uses a combination of machines and free weights in his training routine to get the best bang for his buck.

He trains six days a week and might perform abs and calves workouts on the seventh day as an “active rest day”.

Elgargni’s training split consists of:

Kamal uses high volume training, typically doing 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps each set. Do not be fooled, however, he still uses very heavy weight and pushes himself on each set.


During a contest prep, Kamal will typically eat six meals a day while avoiding cheat meals altogether. On the other hand, during the off-season, Elgargni ensures he is getting at least eighty percent of his daily calories from nutrient-dense whole foods.

His diet looks something like this:

Meal 1

  • 10 egg whites
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 cup of oats

Meal 2

  • 8oz of beef
  • 1 cup of rice

Meal 3

Meal 4

  • 10 oz of chicken
  • 8 oz of sweet potato

Meal 5

  • 10 oz of chicken
  • 1 cup of vegetables

Meal 6

  • 10oz of beef
  • 1 cup of vegetables

Kamal Elgargni’s Future in Bodybuilding

In 2022, Kamal Elgargni had revealed his plans of competing in the Men’s Open division. He finished right behind Akin Williams in his debut open show, the 2022 Tampa Pro. Furthermore, he took a respectable fourth place at his second show, the 2022 Texas Pro.

Kamal seems to have no plans of stopping as far as competing. Do you think he could be a future Mr. Olympia?

Dylan Wolf
I work mainly in content writing, focusing my free time on bodybuilding and strength sports. I was introduced to fitness in high school and after watching Generation Iron movies. I love to train. I have competed multiple times, even winning a junior title in classic physique. I have a bachelor's in criminal justice and business obtained through Alvernia University. When I am not focused on work or training, I enjoy watching films or reading about anything and everything.