Who is Wim Hof?
Wim Hof was born in Limburg, Netherlands in 1959. His ability to withstand freezing temperatures by controlling his autonomic nervous system has given him the nickname of “The Iceman.” He is able to tolerate extreme temperatures (hot and cold) using the power of his mind and breathing techniques he’s developed over decades.
Wim in his own words
“Over time, we, as humans have developed a different attitude towards nature around us and we actually forgot one thing, ‘inner power.’ This is the relationship by our physiological mechanisms to adapt and survive within our natural environment, which is direct and effective.” He continues, “The inner power is a force accumulated by full awakened physiological processes. It also influences the very core of our DNA.”
Hof attributes our changes to the modern habit of wearing protective outer clothing, and regulated interior environments that cease to challenge our internal systems. Wim Hof teaches, “We have changed the stimulation on our body, thus the old mechanisms related to survive and function.” He sees this as the source of our loss of inner control, “As these deeper physiological layers are not stimulated anymore we have become alienated from them, thus our bodies have weakened and we are no longer in touch with this inner power.”
Practicing the Wim Hof Method
The Wim Hof Method is a ten week video course that explains how to practice Wim Hof’s breathing and cold therapy techniques as well as the logic behind these techniques.
While practicing at their own level, even beginners report an impressive improvement in their health and well-being. By studying Hof’s innovative plan, everyone is able to learn Hof’s own secrets of performance under extreme conditions to steer their own physiology in a positive direction.
The 3 Pillars of the Wim Hof Method
The Wim Hof Method is based on “Three Powerful Pillars” of practice. Each one works to strengthen the individual, as well as serve as groundwork for the remaining two pillars. Hof maintains that daily practice of Cold Therapy, Proper Breathing and a steady sense of Commitment to the course is all one needs for success.
Pillar 1 – Cold Therapy
His students are taught to use the cold temperature to tap into the strengths of their immune system and increase their natural levels of necessary hormones. This also allows them to burn unwanted fat on the body, as well as reduce unhealthy levels of inflammation. The cold in turn gives them the ability to raise their level of endorphins and serves to boost a positive mood. Daytime happiness gives way to increased hours and deeper nocturnal sleep.
Pillar 2 – Breathing
The ten week course is also important in his quest to teach students how to breathe better during their day. Most adults tend to take shallow breaths. This can result in lowered oxygen levels and a feeling of fatigue. With the breathing techniques that Wim demonstrates, anyone can learn how to breath properly to improve their respiratory health. They will find that taking deeper breaths reduces toxins that have built up in the body. Rhythmic breathing techniques has been known to reduce tension and the stress that often affects our bodies on a daily basis.
Pillar 3 – Commitment
No study of the Wim Hof Method is complete without intensive commitment to the course. Both professional and amateur athletes know this phase well. This is what allows each student to learn how to endure the cold and take their most productive breaths. Once students have mastered the basics, they are ready to enter the inner depths of their own physiology. Within a short time frame, people are able to recover faster and creative thoughts have the opportunity to rise to optimal states.
10 Week Video Training Course
The course is taught by Wim Hof himself as he explains many of the concepts he has developed over the years. As you view the videos and work out with Hof over a ten week period, there is a workbook included in your kit for you to track your progress. Signing up to the course gives you “Lifetime Access” to the program.
Students are encouraged to work at their own pace. The videos, which are streamed via Vimeo, can be viewed on a wide variety of mobile devices and computer systems. Students can train at home by viewing videos on their home screens, desktop or laptop computers. Away from home or during a break in the workplace, anyone can view the videos on their smart-phone or tablet device. There is also a comments section for each week where you can ask questions, share your results, and learn from the experiences of others.
One important aspect of the Wim Hof Method is the connection between students all over the world. By enrolling in the course, you gain access to a community of Wim Hof devotees. Your course membership also includes entry into his very active, private Facebook group. Here you can speak with a group of thousands of members who are currently working with, or have already completed the course. Kick back, ask questions or simply make new friends. There is also a Wim Hof Method Fans Facebook page.
Working with “The Iceman” to Discover his Secrets of Health and Longevity
Learning to work with the principles set forth each week is simplified with Wim Hof’s Step-by-Step approach. He explores each of the three principles by offering definitions, descriptions and demonstrations. In addition, Hof makes sure his viewers understand the reason why each individual step is necessary to have when developing a skill set. This is some of what viewers can expect to learn at their own pace.
Learning to accept the cold involves a series of therapeutic cold showers that literally train your cardiovascular system. Once you become accustomed to the cold water, your circulation and the flow of blood in the body will respond in kind. There are many other benefits to being able to withstand cold water, such as:
- You will learn how to feel more relaxed, as your heart rate becomes steadier.
- Through the use of cold water, you can more easily find higher levels of energy within yourself.
- With the release of energy that comes from the cold, you may find yourself sleeping more soundly.
- Once you become accustomed to the cold, you’ll be able to banish cold hands and feet.
- As you find your strength in the cold water, you will find a hidden physical strength.
- Most importantly, each person can learn to find an inner sense of courage.
Within moments of learning how to breathe properly, people often experience deep relaxation and serenity. Through powerful breathing exercises, new life can be granted to a body and mind that was formerly fatigued. When one has learned how to thoughtfully meditate, it becomes easier to find “peace of mind.” Some of the benefits include:
- Meditative breathing techniques naturally reduce stress, a major contributor to a myriad of diseases.
- Experience a positive boost of hormones within the body.
- Release a sense of total calm and lower anxiety levels, without the aid of prescription drugs.
- Reduce inflammation within the body, as you raise your natural alkalinity levels.
Bodyweight-type exercises are taught to students throughout the ten week course. He slowly demonstrates each movement, so his students can attain a lean and strong physique. As the weeks go by, you become more flexible. Working alongside Wim, everyone has a chance to maximize their physical fitness and reach the peak of their abilities. Some of the benefits include:
- Optimize the flexibility of joints and muscles, particularly the knees.
- As one stretches along with Mr. Hof, posture and balance are brought into focus.
- Exercise to regulate blood flow to different parts of the body.
- Learn to find a sense of inner mental and emotional peace through physical exercise.
- Stir your mind to rediscover additional roads of creativity within the soul.
- Train yourself alongside Wim to remove the blockages that have been draining your existence.
How to Perform the WHM
The Wim Hof Method is an extremely powerful breathing and meditative technique that is based on Tummo, a practice that hails from ancient Tibet. The Wim Hof Method also has similarities to Pranayama, which is yogic breathing practice. Wim Hof developed this method based on what he calls ‘cold hard nature.’ He subjected himself to extremes in nature, such as extreme cold, heat, and his own fear. Because of this Wim Hof learned how to withstand these brutal forces of nature and by learning this method you can learn to do the same. It is also a very powerful meditative practice and will help you go deep within your own mind.
How to Perform the Wim Hof Method
Before beginning the method please be sure you are in a safe environment that is conductive to meditation. Do not practice the method while driving, in water, or anywhere unsafe if you were to faint or fall asleep.
Step 1 – Get Into a Comfortable Position
Sit or lie on your back, whatever is most comfortable for you personally. Be sure you are in a place where you will not be disturbed. Your lungs should be able to breathe freely without constriction. This practice is best done on an empty stomach, so when you wake up or before meals is best.
Step 2 – 30 Power Breaths
You will begin by breathing in and out around 30 times. The breath should be neither deep nor shallow. Visualize that you are blowing up a balloon. Inhale either via the nose or mouth and exhale via the mouth in short bursts that are powerful. You should sense your whole body being given fresh oxygen. Be sure that your pace is steady and you are using your midriff. Your eyes should be closed. It may feel like a controlled hyperventilation. Repeat the breath approximately 30 times. You may feel tingling or might feel light-headed.
Step 3 – Hold the Breath
After you do the 30 quick breaths breathe in deeply until your lungs are completely filled with air without forcing. Now exhale all the air from your lungs also without forcing. Hold this until you reflexively gasp in air. It may be helpful to do this with closed eyes and focus on the space between them on the forehead. Over time you will be able to hold your breath for longer periods.
Step 4 – Breathe In
When you do breathe in reflexively inhale until your lungs are filled with air, feeling your chest expand with your breath. When the lungs are full hold the breath for about 10 to 15 seconds.
Step 5 – Repeat for Three Rounds
Repeat the whole breathing sequence for another three rounds.
Step 6 – Meditation
After you have finished the four rounds of the breathing technique you will want to relax and enjoy how you feel. If you have a regular mediation practice you may want to perform it at this time. If you don’t you can meditate with your eyes closed by focusing and bringing awareness to your breath and the spot between the eyes. You should try to meditate for at least five minutes. Over time you may find that you meditate for longer periods.
Here is an example of someone doing a round of breathing with a breath hold:
Where in the World?
A map of Wim Hof Method practitioners around the world:
Below are real reviews from customers who have purchased and tried the Wim Hof Method.
I like the steady pace that Wim takes you through.
Fantastic, already seeing results, well laid out course
Great lecture! Simple instructions, comfortable environment, wonderful company!
Excellent, wish I had done it sooner.
Great product. The teachings are step by step and very clear.
Brilliantly life changing. Thanks Wim
Even after practicing the free exercise on the WH site, the first week still blew me away.
Clear and simple with a great teacher
Game Changer! It's almost foolish not to incorporate the WHM into your daily routine.
Life Changing Program
Check out the latest Wim Hof Method reviews from YouTube
Social Media Survey
See what people are saying about the Wim Hof Method
Below are some of the more in-depth reviews available for the Wim Hof Method video course:
- Danger and Play – Wim Hof Breathing Method Course Review
- Dr. Houston Anderson – Wim Hof Method AZ – Review and Reflection
- Freedom and Fulfilment – Wim Hof Method Review: Deep Breathing & Cold Exposure to Supercharge Your Mind, Body & Spirit
- High Existence – The Wim Hof Method *Revealed* – How to Consciously Control Your Immune System
- Living Flow – The Wim Hof Method in Detail
- My Wim Hof Diary – A Dutch woman shares her 10 week journey with the WHM
- The Renegade Pharmacist – How To Become Superhuman
- Thought Brick – Wim Hof Method: review by a yoga teacher
Wim Hof Podcasts
Listen to the Iceman interviewed on various podcasts:
- The Tim Ferriss Show – 9/7/2015
- The Joe Rogan Experience – 10/21/2015
- Found My Fitness – 10/22/2015
- ReWild Yourself Podcast – 10/6/2015
- Ben Greenfield Fitness – 8/15/2015
- Paleohacks – 1/21/2016
- You Optimized Radio (Part 1) – 3/2/2016
- You Optimized Radio (Part 2) – 3/2/2016
- London Real – 1/17/2016
- 180 TV Video Podcast – 2/14/2015
Commonly Asked Questions
Is the Wim Hof Method a treatment or cure for any form of illness?
Wim has never claimed that his ten week video course is a cure or treatment for any disease. However, once you begin to use the techniques taught in this course on a continual basis, your physical, mental and emotional being will sense a definite improvement. This in itself can make you more resilient to future illnesses.
Does science support the Wim Hof Method in the fight against obesity?
The techniques taught by Wim Hof work to assist the body in accepting extreme cold for longer period of time. We know that during the winter months, each of us is more likely to utilize greater reserves of our “white adipose fat” while increasing what is defined as “brown adipose fat.” This variety of brown fat is unlike white fat, in the manner in which it produces heat.
Studies have been conducted by Professor Sir Stephen Bloom at the Imperial College in London as to the effect of brown fat within our bodies. It has been shown that athletes and people who are of normal weight have brown fat to a greater degree than their overweight counterparts. If one is able to activate their reserves of brown fat, it is more likely that they will be able to consume food without gaining unnecessary weight. Therefore, daily practice of the Wim Hof Method can be seen a practical strategy to combating obesity and a tendency to be even moderately overweight.
Will working alongside Wim Hof for 10 weeks help me to lose unwanted pounds?
The Wim Hof Method is not a weight loss system, but rather 10 weeks of video courses designed to bring viewers into a state of health. To learn the Wim Hof Method is to become a student of deep meditation, and the best of mind and body control. Every aspect of the video coursework from breathing to exercise, builds upon these time honored concepts.
One of the benefits of this method is the way in which students are able to withstand colder temperatures and enjoy all that a winter environment offers. Like other forms of meditation, these activities are likely to make a person healthier in a variety of far-reaching ways. Not the least of which is the greater physical, mental and emotional strength required to make long lasting changes in one’s life.
Do I need to begin my exercises in the morning?
It is suggested that the best time to exercise is during the morning hours. This allows you to gain energy early in the day. Likewise, a sense of relaxation will follow you throughout your day. It is also highly recommended to delay eating until after your practice so you can do the breath work and exercises on an empty stomach. It is recommended to hydrate appropriately before and after your video class.
How should one study in the event of illness?
If you are not feeling at your best, it is recommended that you work with only the breathing portion of the exercise video. Allow your body to recover from whatever illness you are experiencing. Once you have recovered, begin where you previously left off.
How much time do I need to devote on a daily basis?
Most people find that they can complete each day’s lessons in no more than an hour. If you are in a time crunch or have short breaks throughout your day, there are additional videos that feature workouts that range between four and ten minutes.
Do I need a computer to view the course?
All you need is a device with an internet connection (desktop, laptop, tablet, mobile phone etc.) to follow along with the video course.
Are there any pieces of equipment I need to buy before beginning this video course?
There are no pieces of fitness equipment or accessories that you need to buy in order to learn the Wim Hof Method. You will need a watch or timing device in order to track your breath holds. To get the benefits of cold therapy, you will need a shower or bathtub with cold water available.
For students who prefer to work outside in more natural surroundings, you can find a cold water spring, or create an ice bath with a bucket or large container. Students will also want to find a quiet place to relax to facilitate deeper meditation. Generally, a comfortable environment is all that is required to begin.
How difficult are the videos for a beginner in the world of physical fitness?
Ironically, these videos were originally created for anyone who considers themselves a beginner. Your training will start with a series of easy-to-follow exercises. As students progress, the exercise strategy becomes a bit more complex. Again, Wim Hof has designed his course so that each individual is able to reap the benefits of his method at their very own pace.
How convenient is it to work with a video-based program?
The Wim Hof Method is based on a series of video-based classes that build upon one another. Every week a new aspect of these studies is revealed. The videos are specifically scheduled to keep every viewer moving along at a steady pace. Students are advised to watch and learn exercises as they are automatically programmed. Within due time, most individuals are able to accomplish each of the given concepts with patience and dedication.
What languages are the videos available in?
The Wim Hof Method videos are currently available in English. Wim Hof makes a point of speaking slowly and concisely for those viewers for whom English is a second language. This set of training videos will soon be translated into Spanish, Italian, Dutch and German.
How much does a series of Wim Hof Method 10 week videos cost?
The Wim Hof Method video series is available in both the United States dollar and Euro currency. The entire course and added bonuses is available for only $199 US. This amount can be paid securely online with either a major credit card or a PayPal account. For people living in Europe, a payment of 179 Euros is safely paid with either a major credit card, Sofort, Mister Cash, IDEAL or an online bank transfer.
Are there any bonuses that come with my purchase?
Yes, included with your Wim Hof Method 10 week video course is a copy of his book, “Becoming the Iceman.” This ebook version of Wim Hof’s amazing life and adventures normally retails for as much as $15 US online through Amazon.com. You will receive as a special bonus, a copy of the “Wim Hof Method” as an ebook. Also available on this video series is previously unseen film of Wim Hof and his exploits as “The Iceman.”
I’m searching for an unusual gift. How suitable is this ten week video course, accompanying ebooks and workbook to present to another person?
The Wim Hof Method is perfect for friends and family who are open minded and up to try something new and different. You might want to present these videos to someone who finds themselves regularly depressed or ill during the winter months. Working along with Wim they will be able to challenge themselves to grow physically, mentally and emotionally.
People you know who already enjoy the practice of meditation and yoga might especially enjoy working alongside Wim to find their true potential. His meditation strategies are based on ancient teachings such as Tummo Meditation. Learning his methods is a wonderful way to increase holistic health, strength and inner happiness.
Scientific Studies and Media Attention
One such scientific study was conducted by Radboud University of The Netherlands. Placed in a controlled environment, Hof proved that he could train a dozen volunteers to modulate their immune systems to accommodate changes in temperature. Previously he had shown members of their medical staff in 2011 how he could control his own immune system to accept extreme temperatures.
Television audiences have also thrilled to the extreme exploits of Wim Hof. In 2012, a US television series captured his abilities during a live broadcast. “Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files” featured Wim Hof as he sat in a tank filled with ice. After twenty minutes, he left the tank and cameras recorded the heat emanating from his body. His heart rate and core temperatures were within normal range, even when he returned to the tank to complete a ninety minute soaking in ice.
World Records and Noteworthy Achievements
In 2007, Wim Hof astounded his critics with a 22,000 foot (6.7 km) climb up Mount Everest while clad in nothing but a pair of shorts and climbing shoes. 2009 saw Hof reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in two days also climbing bare chested and in shorts. In 2010, he was filmed by several global television companies as he completed a marathon in Finland. Here once again, he ran in arctic temperatures dressed as if it were a summer’s day.
His methods have worked to grant Hof twenty world records, including those earned for endurance while being immersed in ice and cold. He was featured in the 2008 Guinness World Records for his ability to survive an ice bath for over an hour. 2010 saw Hof break another immersion record in Tokyo, Japan. This time he demonstrated his unique ability to withstand nearly two hours while standing in a container of ice.
A similar record breaking feat in 2011 allowed Hof to set additional Guinness World Records. He currently holds the world record for successful ice immersion for a count of one hour, 52 minutes and 42 seconds. However, his mental ability to withstand extreme temperature also includes records set in hot weather. Wim Hof was able to run an entire marathon race in the Namib Desert on the Southern African continent without much-needed water. This was something he achieved under close medical supervision and for purposes of study.
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All the hype aside, I have found the Wim Hof Method to be incredibly beneficial. I’ve gone through 7 weeks of the program and can definitely tell an improvement in my energy levels throughout the day. It also gives a relaxed sense of calm and focus. Something similar, I suspect, to the benefits of meditation. The WHM is actually a great ‘gateway drug’ to meditation in that sense. I like it because the breath work and yoga/exercises are engaging and ‘active’ as opposed to the ‘passive’ relaxation of a traditional meditation practice. Since I find it hard to sit still, the Wim Hof Method is ideal. However, I do look forward to exploring more meditation techniques in the future. (Like I said, gateway drug.) Also, Wim really is a great teacher. I suppose this comes from his years of personal experience and passion about the subject. He is very encouraging and gives great guidance along the way. One last thing I didn’t realize before I started was the effect the WHM has on speeding up recovery from workouts. This might be my favorite aspect of the course. I like to work out 5-6 days a week, sometimes twice a day, and since I’ve been following the course I feel fresh for workouts and haven’t had any issues with lingering soreness or injuries. I can’t prove it’s related to the course, but even if it’s placebo I’ll take it! But CrossFit Endurance coach Brian Mackenzie has pointed to the recovery aspect as the one of main reasons why he recommends the WHM to his athletes. Overall, the benefits are real and it’s really cool that something like this exists.