Emil Goliath, also known by his real name Emil Hodzovic, is a medical doctor, entrepreneur, and fitness instructor. Throughout his career, Emil has juggled his medical duties with training for strongman events, physique competitions, and MMA fights, as well as working with his online fitness brand.
However, Emil’s journey towards becoming a fitness influence wasn’t all easy and smooth. During his early days as a strongman, Emil begun experiencing health concerns due to his unhealthy weight – which, at one point, reached 142 kilograms.
Emil eventually realized this wasn’t something he wanted to live with, so he transitioned into physique fitness preparations. After dropping his body fat, he started competing in Men’s Physique competitions – becoming a fitness influence and renowned training instructor.
This is Emil’s story:
“Coaching is so much more than simply fat loss or slashing calories and macros, there is a much more holistic picture to look at in terms of health and long-term wellbeing.”
Full Name: Emil Hodzovic Nationality Profession Alias Era British Fitness Model, Nutritionist, Training Instructor, Physique Competitor, Strongman, Medical Doctor The Fitness Doctor 2010 Nationality British Profession Fitness Model, Nutritionist, Training Instructor, Physique Competitor, Strongman, Medical Doctor Alias The Fitness Doctor Era 2010
- Sponsored Athlete
- WBFF Muscle Model
- Medicine (MBBCh Cardiff University 2011)
- Emergency/Intensive Care Doctor
- Sports Exercise Science (BSc UWIC 2009)
- Tactical Nutrition and Training
- Online Fitness Business CEO
- Cardiff Sports Nutrition
- Advanced Gym Instructor Level 2 and 3
- ISSN Nutrition Diploma student 2015-2016
- Extreme Kettlebell Instructor
Emil’s First ‘Contact’ With Sports and Fitness
Emil Goliath has been involved in weight training for years, but his sports career stretches even longer. He discovered his passion for physical activity around the age of 8, when he started playing rugby.
Over time, Emil progressed in rugby, and so did his responsibilities within the team. As a result, he started training in the gym to keep up with the demands of the sport.
Recalling his beginnings in fitness, Emil said he would train chest every single day at lunchtime. He would also spend hours running around his local park; doing various bodyweight exercises, as well as lifting a basic set of dumbbells in his bedroom.
“I was quickly hooked,” says Emil, who continued training harder and harder in the gym as the years went by.
Progress in the Gym
By the time Emil enrolled in college, he was training in the gym several days per week; following a structured training plan. As a result, Emil started progressing in his physique at a quicker pace.
While his fascination with weight training grew bigger, his interest in rugby gradually disappeared – eventually, quitting the sport altogether.
Although Emil had little free time on his hands due to his studies in college. He still managed to devote all of his available time and energy to fitness. Over the course of several months, he built up his experience and qualifications in the gym – becoming a functional training instructor.
“At medical school, although my time was limited, I kept lifting for the sake of lifting and loved it. “
As a part of his university career, Emil went on to take one year off from his medical studies to pursue a degree in Sports Science.
During this time, Emil focused all of his efforts on expanding his nutrition, supplementation, and training knowledge. He learned about a number of advanced training techniques, as well as Olympic Weightlifting and powerlifting.
Emil also spent a brief time training MMA, something that helped him realize the benefits of circuit workouts and high-intensity training for fat loss and staying lean.
In Emil’s own words; “Whilst training for MMA, I found that using functional compound exercises and working to a high intensity was a lot more fun than other ways of training. I also seemed to lose a significant amount of body fat this way, despite not paying much attention to my diet.” – Emil Goliath
Coming back to medical school, Emil once again faced the obstacle of not having enough free time.
However, he later found that he could prioritize his training while studying medicine by training as a strongman. This not only saved him time, it also helped him grow in strength and size tremendously.
Over the course of two years, Emil competed in a number of strongman competitions. Including the British Natural Strongest Man, Wales’ Strongest Man, and the 2011 Body Power Fitness event.
Throughout the qualifiers of the British Natural Strongest Man, Emil won every event he attended. The finals, however, proved to be too big of a challenge, as Emil took the 4th place in the contest; narrowly missing out on qualifying for the strongman world championships.
Emil Goliath when he was a strongman (left), and Emil nowadays (right).
Turning to Physique Fitness
Upon finishing his studies, Emil weighted an unhealthy 142kg. He realized weighing this much dragged him down, and as a result – he quit his career in strongman, and started focusing on losing body fat instead.
Initially, Emil only wanted to lose weight for health reasons. However, after seeing his physique transform, he ended up taking everything a step further by competing in physique shows.
He combined all of the knowledge he gained throughout the years of being an MMA fighter, strongman, and training instructor – using it to push his career to new heights to become a Men’s Physique competitor and online fitness influence.
“I hate rest days. But generally speaking, they are essential. They allow you to perform optimally when you do train, as well as helping you rest and recuperate. They can help prevent injury as you aren’t training fatigued and they can make the gym lifestyle infinitely more sustainable.
I would much rather see someone train 2 or 3 days a week consistently for a long time rather than promising 5 or 6 sessions and only lasting 2 weeks.”
Training Set Up
Emil follows a flexible training routine. He aims to get at least five workout sessions per week, ideally six. However, he’ll adjust his training schedule according to his everyday responsibilities, which means that sometimes he just might not be able to train as much as he wants.
In his workouts, Emil trains one major muscle group, alongside an accessory muscle group such as bicepa. His focus during a workout is to achieve the best possible muscle contraction and squeeze, as he believes this is a crucial component in building muscle as well as staying lean.
Another priority in Emil’s training is longevity. Meaning, he trains in a way that ensures he’ll maintain healthy bones, joints, and overall physique so he could continue training in the gym for years to come.
Here’s Emil talking more on his training; “A big priority for me is injury prevention and longevity in training. Indeed, this is why I left strongman and rugby before it. I’ve lifted as heavy as I’m likely ever to lift in my strongman years and this allows me the freedom now to truly ‘leave my ego at the door’. “
Weaker Body Parts
During his early strongman days, Emil considered his chest and hamstrings as his weaker body parts.
His chest, particularly, was lacking compared to his arms and shoulders. This was mostly due to his strongman training; doing mostly overhead movements and fast-paced bench press which brought out his deltoids, not so much his chest.
Once Emil decided he wanted to compete in bodybuilding shows. He realized he would need to work on his lacking body parts. He started doing bench press with a slow and controlled form, focusing on squeezing his chest at the top of the movement.
Over time, both Emil’s chest and hamstrings caught up with the rest of his body. He now boasts a well-rounded and ripped physique.
While Emil says how exercise in general is crucial for staying healthy and feeling well. He also states how circuit workouts and high-intensity training are often neglected by people when it comes to staying fit and healthy.
According to Emil, high-intensity training not only provides numerous cardiovascular benefits. It also helps provide additional caloric deficit; making the dieting process easier.
“This kind of training probably isn’t essential for aesthetic goals but you’ll find very few people out there who can get into a shape they are proud of and who manage to neglect all forms of cardio style training.”
Squats are one of Emil’s all-time favorite bodybuilding exercises. As he says, they helped him grow both physically and mentally over his lifting career.
Emil was once asked what was the best advice he received in fitness and bodyubilding, he says this;
“Squat. It came from Dave who owned the first proper gym I trained at. It stemmed from me asking what he recommended I do while I was revising for my first year medical exams and him telling me to squat…
I ended up doing the 20 squat program which involved squatting 3 times a week for 6 weeks and the rest is history.”
From Strongman to Fitness Model
To start his transition into Men’s Physique, Emil had to go through a rigorous process of dieting to lose his excess body fat.
He cut down his calories significantly, alongside changing his macronutrient ratio. Specifically, Emil increased his protein intake, and decreased his carbs and fats.
Although it was a hard and long transformation, Emil is proud that he was able to achieve his goal of improving his health, and physical appearance.
Processed and Clean Foods
In Emil’s opinion, ‘processed foods’ and ‘clean foods’ are too vague of terms to be taken seriously.
Here’s Emil talking about processed vs clean foods: “What is ‘clean’ food? What is ‘processed’ food? These terms are all a load of crap. This is scaremongering, used by people who are either trying to sell something or are just ignorant of science.
What does this even mean? Processing is the act of changing food. The most common form of processing is heating food. Cooking it. I’ll just leave that there.”
Emil essentially believes how there is no “bad” food when an entire diet is taken into context. If he mostly eats foods such as lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and heart-healthy oils, then having a chocolate or other palatable food in his diet isn’t necessarily “bad.” As Emil says, it all comes down to balance.
Emil doesn’t think artificial sweeteners such as aspartame are as unhealthy as people often describe them to be.
He says how based on the current evidence, there is no reason to avoid artificial sweeteners. “If the evidence were to change then my view would shift, but until then, pass me a diet soda and drink up.” – Emil Goliath
Supplements in Emil Goliath’s Stack
While Emil uses a couple of supplements. He believes that most people place too much importance on worrying which supplements to take, when instead they should be looking at their nutrition and training.
He says that only after covering the diet, training, and sleep, it’s okay to look at the supplementation.
As for Emil himself, he uses only three basic supplements, which help him cover any potential deficiencies;
- Vitamin D3
- Omega 3s
Idols and Influences
Emil’s understanding of training and dieting concepts have allowed him to become a certified fitness instructor, as well as a role model for people that follow him online.
With his extensive knowledge and enthusiasm for fitness, Emil continues to work towards improving both his own life, and that of his online followers.
“I read about a really interesting concept. It was about doing what you actually said you were going to do. Simple, but if you think about it how often do you fail to follow through? This can range from something simple like going to bed on time or sticking to a diet until it’s endpoint.
That is, sticking to it, for the sake of sticking to it because you said you would stick to it. Conversely, if you don’t stick to the less important things (that you said you would do) then the habit can slip and let you down when it comes to the more important things.”
What we can learn from Emil Goliath
Emil Goliath has spent years looking for his ultimate passion and career, and he eventually found it. After trying weightlifting, strongman competitions, and even MMA, Emil eventually realized it was coaching others that fulfilled him the most.
His story leaves us with a message that sometimes, it might take a long time before you find your one, true passion in life. You might even need to try many different things before finding something that ‘sticks’ with you.
However, it’s important to keep going, as that’s the only way to reach your end goal, and lifestyle you’ve always wanted – just like Emil Goliath.