The beginning of the Iceman
By the time Wim reached his teenage years, he was already running barefoot through the snow, comfortably. It was the beginning of a large series of confrontations with the cold, where limits were tested every single time while stunning the outside world. Wim Hof (born 1959) is able to perform exceptionally, almost unnaturally, what he is focused on. Due to our modern lifestyle nowaday's, we are disconnected from the natural state of our being. Our breathing is much shallower, meaning that our body is not optimally supplied with oxygen. However, according to Wim, his method is not complicated at all: "What I am capable of - everybody can learn".
Control over your inner nature
Wim Hof is an autodidact and taught himself how to control his heart rate, breathing and blood circulation. All these functions are regulated by the autonomic nervous system. Science tells us that the autonomic nervous system cannot be influenced by your own will, yet Wim manages to, by steering his hypothalamus (area of the brain that regulates the body temperature). Whereas the body temperature of an untrained person drops dangerously after exposure to extreme cold, Wim is able to maintain his core temperature constantly at around 37 degrees Celsius. Even after sitting 1 hour and 52 minutes in ice, Wim’s core temperature stayed the same. Scientists around the world were baffled by this exceptional performance. In the Netherlands, Prof. Maria Hopman of UMC St Radboud Nijmegen examined Wim’s physiological response as he was affected by the cold, being up to his neck in a cylinder filled with ice cubes.
21 Guinness World Records
The Guinness World Record Ice Endurance feat, set at 1 hour and 52 minutes, is not Wim’s only World record. He set 21 Guinness World Records with the most exceptional and unique performances.
Through his exercises and workouts, Wim has achieved the following:
- running a marathon on sandals above the Arctic circle wearing only shorts
- running 1/2 a marathon barefoot above the Arctic circle wearing only shorts
- officially swam under ice for 66 meters, unofficially swam under ice for 120 meters with one breath
- free climbing
- hanging on one finger at an altitude of 2000 meters
- climbing the highest mountains on earth in only shorts
- heat tests with a constant body temperature
- Full marathon in the Namib desert without water consumption
All of this may seem superhuman, but Wim remains to persevere: “What I am capable of, everybody can learn".