Becoming the Iceman: Pushing Past Perceived Limits


Wim "the Iceman" Hof describes his background, training regiment, beliefs and world records. He has trained his body to such a degree that he can withstand incredible cold and there has even been scientific backing that he can control his autonomous nervous system and better fight infectious diseases.

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Key Takeaways
  1. Fear and trust are the two components of the human psyche
  2. Embrace the fear - have to confront it to overcome it
  3. Stay centered and focus within. Feel you breathe, heartbeat, mood, emotions, thoughts. The better you become at this the closer you become to mastering yourself
  4. By training your tolerance to cold exposure, you can improve your vasodilation (flexibility of veins to open/close quickly) which is important for your cardiovascular system
  5. "Life doesn't change, only your perception of it does. It's all about what you focus on. Withdraw from the world's influence and no longer be controlled by your emotions. If you can grab the wheel of your mind, you can steer the direction of where your life will go."
  6. Hesitation creates fear
  7. Wim is able to suppress inflammatory bodies which would otherwise make him sick by suppressing the vagus nerve - showing at least partial control of his autonomous nervous system
  8. His goal is to share his message that we can control our immune system and that the future holds a lot of potential if we can reach his level of mastery
  9. Cold forces you to only think about the present
  10. Happiness resides in a quiet mind
  11. When cold, imagine body is actually warm (visualize fire in the belly)
  12. Deep trust develops with unity and confidence in your body and mind
  13. Body helps compensate and alleviate pain if you go deep enough
  14. Wim lays out a broad overview of his training regimen - 30 deep breaths and exhales in order to really oxygenate the body (may feel tingling and see some lights) followed by a deep exhale to see how long you can hold your breathe without air. Do this 3 times. His full training regimen (found here) also outlines some exercises to do after the breathing. I have been doing his training regimen for 6 weeks now and have been feeling amazing. Energized, calm, flexible, focused. I can't recommend highly enough - feels like a combo of yoga, meditation, massage and exercise.
  15. Four stages of cold - Adaptation, relaxation, tingling (should stop soon after you reach stage 3), complete numbness
  16. Cold exposure exercises - cold showers, ice-water buckets, ice buckets, foot immersion so, surface extremity exposure, full-body immersion, cold/snow walks, cold runs
  17. Listen to your body and never force anything. Take the long-term view
What I got out of it
  1. Not worth the read but it was interesting to get some detail on his background and goals. The training regimen found online is a bit expensive but I can't recommend it highly enough

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