Wim Hof

Wim Hof

“We can do more than what we think.” It’s a belief system that I have adopted and it has become my motto. There is more than meets the eye and unless you are willing to experience new things, you’ll never realize your full potential.”

  • NATIONALITY: Dutch
  • SUMMARY: “If you can learn how to use your mind, anything is possible.”
  • RELEVANT COURSESWim Hof’s Method

Spending your days meditating half naked in ice is the sort of thing you’d expect to see in the pages of a Marvel comic, or a cutaway in a superhero film. But it’s nothing out of the ordinary for Wim Hof, a Dutchman better known for being a real life Iceman.Like any good mutant or superhero, Hof’s story was also marked by tragedy. His wife committed suicide in 1995, leaving him to bring up his four children at the time. “Sadness is a deep trigger,” he told VICE in a documentary. “Where I get peace was in these breathing exercises, swimming outside in the cold.”

“I had to be there for my children,” he said in a separate documentary. “It’s a black hole within yourself, it breaks your heart and you don’t know why, but the train of a daily life is going on … my children made me survive in that time, but nature healed my wounds. The cold gave me direct understanding of deeper breathing, and how to heal a broken heart.”

It’s something straight out of a comic book or a superhero movie.

Hof insists that regular sedentary humans can benefit from his techniques, and there’s some scientific basis for that. Researchers from Radboud University’s Nijmegen Medical Centre even injected Hof’s body with bacterial endotoxins, which triggers the body’s immune system, and found that his immune response, compared to previous subjects, was 50 percent less than subjects in previous studies.

But while Hof’s techniques might have some utility in our day-to-day life, the reality is most people won’t have the willpower or fortitude to push themselves as much as the real life Iceman, who runs up Mount Everest in shorts and runs barefoot in the freezing cold for fun.

Stuff that would kill most people doesn’t faze Hof. Here’s a small snippet of his outstanding feats, absolutely none of which any sane person should attempt:

  • The record for running the fastest half marathon barefoot on ice or snow, which is 2:16:34, approximately 2:16:33 longer than I enjoy being barefoot in an airconditioned office, let alone the Arctic.
  • Completing a 41km marathon in the Namibian desert without water or food, which saw him lose around 6kg.
  • He previously held the world record for being in direct contact with ice, spending an hour and 52 minutes submerged up to his neck. (Hof’s record was broken in 2014 by China’s Jin Songhao, who stayed submerged for 1:53:10.)
  • He swam more than 57 metres under ice with only trunks and a pair of goggles. And if that doesn’t sound like much, look at how exhausted Hof is when he’s pulled out of the ice.
  • Hanging his body by a single finger off a hook for almost half a minute. I probably wouldn’t have a finger left if I tried that.

Wim Hof’s story gives hope and inspiration to many as he was faced with a truly horrible experience in life and came out the other end on top. But more than that he now teaches and helps people form all over the world. While he has many avenues to his business and what he is teaching people….. if you boil it down, he is in fact just teaching us breathing techniques and how to breathe. Something that we have done every day for all of our lives but he now travels around the world showing people how to get the most out of breath and the incredible affects and changes it can have on your life!! Get his book or try his course and experience the affect for yourself!!

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Michael Todd

I run Nonconformity University and Lifemaster

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