Warning: The Wim Hof technique can be very strenuous especially if you have not attempted his methods before. Make sure to speak with your Doctor or Physician before attempting any of the techniques that I will be sharing with you.
Who is Wim Hof
Wim Hof was born 20 April 1959, also known as the Iceman, is a Dutch extreme athlete noted for his ability to withstand extreme cold, which he attributes to his Wim Hof Method (WHM) breathing techniques. Hof says that the WHM can treat or help alleviate symptoms of illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, diabetes, clinical depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and cancer.
Hof has set out to spread the potential health benefits of his breathing techniques, working with scientists around the world to prove that his techniques work. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America stated that by consciously hyperventilating, Hof can increase his heart rate, adrenaline levels, and blood alkalinity. Hof is the subject of The New York Times bestselling book What Doesn’t Kill Us, which tells the story of how the investigative journalist Scott Carney took an assignment to debunk the WHM but ended up learning Hof’s techniques.
I will say that with the research I have personally done on Wim Hof and his techniques absolutely amaze me. He has come up with new concepts that has actually boggled science, and he is rewriting history. Now practicing his techniques for a few years I am a big fan of his techniques and the benefits that it can have in your life.
He has even gone as far as climbing Mount Everest. The crazy part is not only did he climb it, he takes other’s with him to climb it as well. It really doesn’t get more bad ass than that.
I ended up buying his entire course and have to say I have no regrets. It was definitely worth it, and it challenged me in ways I had never been challenged before. So let’s get into it and show you why the Wim Hof technique will help you find your greatness.
Stretch and Breath
The first section of his workshop is basic breathing techniques and stretches. He teaches you how to breathe through the stretch and elongate the muscle. It truly is a great feeling going through this stretching techniques. Progressing through the training, the stretches increase in difficulty.
The cool part is not only does your flexibility increase. Your balance also increases significantly due to some poses you have to hold while stretching. Some of these stretches were definitely taken from yoga stretches. It makes sense, because yoga is one of the best ways to increase flexibility, balance, and kinesthetic awareness.
This is were things become extremely challenging. Learning to hold your breathe for long periods of time without air in your lungs. He gives a very extensive warning on this one as you can hurt yourself very badly if you do not do it correctly. So please consult with your doctor before attempting this.
Basically you inhale deeply for 30 to 40 breathe’s. With each deep inhale you will exhale by just relaxing the air out. You do not want to force the exhale, just let it flow out. After your last deep inhale, you do one more exhale and you hold your breathe. Everyone’s breath hold is going to be different. I like to challenge myself and actually held my breathe for over 3 minutes. After you cannot hold any longer you take one more deep inhale, and hold your breathe with air in the lungs while contracting the abdominal area. Only do this hold for 15 seconds. You should feel a little rush to your head.
Progressing through the program you will see your breath holds improve. He starts off with 3 sets of this, and gradually moves up to 5 sets of breathe holds.
What I love about the breath holds the most is how intense they can be on the body. You really forget how important oxygen is until you take it away from yourself. It makes reminds you to really appreciate the things we are provided with, like simple breathing. I guess that’s what they mean by having gratitude for the breath you breathe.
After you advance through dealing with the stretches and the breath holds, next up is the cold showers. Let me tell you I was not a fan of this one at first. It was very painful to me, but like everything else my body learned to adapt to it. He also teaches you to breathe through the cold showers, instead of hyperventilating. A reaction the body naturally wants to do.
Those cold showers really get your day started the right way though. Afterwards I would feel more alert and ready to take on the day. I actually lost some weight doing them to, and I will account that to several factors. Cold showers makes the body try to heat itself up. Taking a decent amount of calories. Your body also increases its (BAT) which is brown adipose tissue. Although BAT is essentially fat, it is working fight with mitochondria. Meaning it actually increases your overall metabolism. So I would account those as being two major reasons my body fat went down.
The cold showers also makes you feel like you can do anything throughout the day. Being able to take a cold shower surely puts you in a position to be able to deal with anything the day has to throw at you.
When you finish the program your body legitimately feels stronger than it did before. At least that was my takeaway from it. I had heightened balance, flexibility, and I was able to maintain bouts of cardio for longer periods of time. I loved the fact that the program challenged me as well.
The really cool part about Wim Hof is he does not rush you to finish the program. So if you are stuck in a section he wants you to take as long as you need to before you move on to the next section.
This is the type of program that I would recommend to athletes, people wanting to work on flexibility, and those who like a good challenge. The Wim Hof technique will benefit you.
You can try the Wim Hof technique on their site https://www.wimhofmethod.com/