Wim Hof, the “Ice Man”

Meeting the “superhuman” Ice Man.

(Originally published on my newsletter — here are previous ones)

You probably heard about Wim Hof, the Iceman. I had heard about him before and meeting him was extraordinary. Also one of the most engaging and motivating talks I have heard.

He holds 20 world records including staying about 2 hours in ice water, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in shorts and completing a marathon in the desert with no water.

The first thing that was really special about meeting him is his energy. He feels like a kid playing. He is always happy and his happiness is contagious.

I was really wondering why he was setting all those crazy world records. He explained that his wife committed suicide after a long depression. She was on many anti-depressant drugs and none of that helped her.

Wim Hof decided to work on a method that would help make people happier, stronger and healthy. His capability to cope with cold intrigued some scientists who did some research which included injecting him with bacteria. He recovered immediately. Wim claims his method helps the nervous system and immune systems.

I have tried it!

The method is very simple. You just breathe in a very deep way “fully in” and “fully out” as Wim says. A group of us at Summit at Sea did this deep breath for about 6 minutes. We hyper-oxygenated our blood and then stopped breathing for a while. 45 seconds was all I could do the first time. Then we did it again for another 6 minutes, and stopped breathing again.

Finally we did another 6 minutes deep breathing. Then he asked us to hold our breath for 2 minutes.

It sounded impossible but most people in the group succeeded. I did it too even though my brain really wanted me to get some oxygen around 50 seconds and 1 minute 30 seconds in.

Since I am already meditating 20 minutes every day, I just added this to my daily routine. I just added alternative deep breathing and holding my breath and made it a little longer (6x3 = 18 mins + 3x2 mins of no breathing = 24 mins).

Wim also explained to us he was only eating once a day around 6pm and then would do intermittent fasting every day. I am trying this too and will write another note on my findings.

Wim is really is so inspiring. I decided to add to my bucket list to join one of his camps. The training results in climbing a snowy mountain in Poland in shorts. Can’t wait.

It’s all about controlling our minds. We will cover that topic on our Mindfulness and Meditation event in San Francisco on December 6th with great speakers. I hope you can join us. Small is beautiful. We also decided to switch our Paris event April 11–12 to invite only. Let us know if you want an invite.


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