I stumbled upon the Win Hof Method a few years ago after listening to Wim explain it on the Joe Rogan Experience. I heard Wim talking about how he combines breathing exercises with cold water immersion and exercise to manipulate his body and mind into being stronger, healthier, and happier.
At first I was a bit confused, it seemed too good to be true, so I wrote it off as just another scam. Then I started to see Wim Hof pop up in various different interviews and articles. Something about his method had to be working if so many people were talking about it. So I decided to do my homework…
Table of contents
- Who is Wim Hof?
- How It Works
- My Experience
- Why Use The Course
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wim Hof Method Testimonials
- Final Thoughts
Who is Wim Hof?
To understand the Wim Hof Method, we must first understand who Wim Hof is. Having been nicknamed “The Iceman”, Wim is (as you might have guessed) not as susceptible to the cold as regular people are. And that is putting it lightly. Here are just some of his amazing feats:
- In 2007 he climbed Mount Everest wearing only shorts and shoes.
- In 2008 he broke a world record by immersing himself in ice for 1 hour, 13 minutes and 48 seconds.
- In 2009 he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in only shorts.
- In 2010 he broke his own world record by standing immersed in ice for 1 hour and 44 minutes.
As you can see, he has an amazing ability to withstand and power through mentally and physically grueling experiences. The interesting part is, he isn’t exactly “special”. He wasn’t born this way, he doesn’t take any special supplements, and his diet is pretty normal. So how did he go from normal to superhuman? Through the aptly named Wim Hof Method.
How It Works
The Wim Hof Method is not just physical and not just mental. It combines both styles of exercises into one comprehensive course. In doing so it trains you to become mentally and physically more fit.
Here’s the basics of the course…
First, you start with a controlled hyperventilation exercise. While this may sound a bit scary, it has a purpose. Your body needs oxygen to perform at its peak. When we sit around in front of our computers or watch television, we aren’t getting proper amounts of oxygen to our brain, muscles, and blood cells. This causes them to not function to their utmost degree. By forcing yourself to breathe heavily, you basically force oxygen into your body. This alone can help increase energy levels and (for some) even make you feel a state of euphoria.
The second part involves an exercise element. Exercise helps to get the blood pumping and circulates the new oxygen around your body, helping you feel the effects more. Also, exercise increases dopamine production, leading to a better mood and more energy.
The last part of the Wim Hof Method is cold exposure. This part may be confusing and even scary to some but it is absolutely necessary. Allowing your body to be immersed in the cold triggers some interesting reactions. For example, it increases your immune system response by creating more white blood cells. It also helps fight inflammation. Inflammation is one of the root causes of a lot of big physiological and mental problems that we face every day, from chronic fatigue to brain fog.
When you combine the breathing, exercise, and cold exposure elements of the Wim Hof Method, you can literally transform your body and mind for the better.
It took a while for me to actually pull the trigger and start the Wim Hof Method. I was skeptical, like most people would be. I made a lot of excuses…
“This probably won’t work for me,” and “This has to be some type of scam.”
Well, I was wrong.
Literally directly after the first session of breathing, exercising, and exposure to cold I noticed an immediate change in my mental state. I can only explain it as how I feel when I wake up 100% rested and fully energized. My brain fog had vanished, I was much more productive, and my mood had shifted from apathetic to happy and interested in my work. That is when I knew this was a game changer.
I continued using the Wim Hof Method and saw more noticeable effects start to happen. I’ve outlined some of them below:
- I started to sleep much better. My usual nightly routine involves taking a supplement such as valerian root or melatonin in order to induce sleep and help keep me asleep. After starting the Wim Hof Method I noticed that I not only fell asleep faster but I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night like I usually do. This is probably due to the fact that research has found that cooling your body temperature actually leads to a more restful sleep.
- I have much more “clean” energy throughout the day. To help power through my days, I used to drink upwards of four or five cups of coffee. As you might have guessed, this led to some negative consequences such as crashing and feeling mentally fatigued near the mid or late afternoon. Upon doing the Wim Hof Method I have much more sustainable energy. That means that I can work for longer periods of time without feeling tired or needing to take a break.
- I have much less “brain fog”. Ever since I was a kid I have been plagued by brain fog (the inability to focus due to thoughts not forming correctly). After trying almost everything to fix it, I finally was able to get a grasp on it by changing my diet and exercise routine. It occasionally does come back and when it does, I usually reach for a supplement (such as a nootropic) to help. Now that I’ve learned the Wim Hof Method, I use it to help rid myself of brain fog any time I feel it coming on.
- I don’t feel “dead” by the end of the day. My job can be very overwhelming. Like a lot of people, I am pulled in various of different directions every day. I usually deal with this by “vegging out” and watching a few episodes of television. However, now that I’ve started using the Wim Hof Method, I find that I don’t feel as exhausted by the end of the day and actually sometimes continue to work until much later in the day than I usually would.
- I feel more creative and happy. Much of my real job involves being creative (e.g. coming up with new marketing plans and designing campaigns). Being creative can be mentally taxing and when you aren’t “in the zone” it can be incredibly hard to come up with creative ideas. The Wim Hof Method gave me the mental energy and creativity to work through some impressive ideas that ended up being implemented in my client work. Not only was my creativity taken to new heights but so was my mood. I felt much happier day-to-day than I had in a long time (even during stressful situations such as deadlines).
As with anything, it’s important to understand how and why it works. Researchers have tested Wim Hof using his methods to manipulate his immune system response and classified them as “remarkable”. Many scientists are taken aback at how his methods work so well for being so simple.
When you break it down and really look at it, each of the three core pillars of the Wim Hof Method all have positive research that backs them up. Take a look at a few below:
- Breathing: http://www.emmaseppala.com/benefits-breathing-scientific-benefits-breathing-infographic/
- Exercise: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110
- Cold Exposure: https://examine.com/supplements/cold-exposure/
Why Use The Course
To be honest there are a lot of videos and other tutorials online that try to explain what the Wim Hof Method is. I tried a lot of them and here’s why I recommend taking the course instead.
All of the videos and articles about the Wim Hof Method are just snippets of what you learn when you take the actual course from Wim himself. They skip over 90% of the actual material and provide you with just a basic overview of what the course actually teaches you. You need to understand the “meat” of what the method to do it correctly.
Also, the course is just that, a course. You don’t just immediately get thrown into performing the Wim Hof Method, you learn each and every aspect to the fullest. This allows you to really manipulate your body and get the most benefits out of the course.
Frequently Asked Questions
When I bring up the Wim Hof Method to people who aren’t familiar with it, I usually get a lot of questions about it. Below are some of the most common ones I receive and their answers…
Do I need to be physically fit to take this program?
Nope, you don’t. I am somewhat physically fit but I have read a variety of other accounts of people who are not fit by any means and still completed the course. That being said, the course does include some physically grueling tasks beyond the cold exposure element. The exercises can get a little tough but if you find that you literally cannot perform them, don’t be discouraged! Just keep at it and do what you can.
Will this program help me lose weight?
Cold exposure has been linked to an increase in metabolism. When your metabolism increases, it is because it is using more fat for energy. Thus, it is possible that this could help. However, I am not a doctor and neither is Wim Hof. Be sure to ask a professional.
How long does it take to complete?
The entire course is 10 weeks. Of course, you can break it down any way you’d like. There is no need to rush through it. Look at this course as a way to form better habits in the long run.
What if it doesn’t work for me?
Based on what it says in the support section of the website, you can request a refund within 14 days of purchasing. However, if you follow all of the steps that Wim Hof lays out, you should see some type of physical and mental change.
Does this course help ease anxiety/depression?
I’m not a doctor and neither is Wim Hof. However, the Wim Hof Method did significantly boost my mood. It isn’t “snake oil” either. By themselves, exercise, hard breathing, and cold exposure are all linked to increase in adrenaline and dopamine productions which can make you feel happier.
Wim Hof Method Testimonials
Before jumping into the Wim Hof Method I was just like you, wondering what it was like. I did a lot of research and found that tons of top performers use and benefit from the Wim Hof Method regularly. Here are a few testimonials that I thought were worth sharing…
“Not only does it bring a calmness to your spirit, which is probably the most important thing, but it has enhanced my performance and I believe this is a tool I’ll be able to use in the future.” — Laird Hamilton, Professional Surfer
“It’s changed my life — from a health standpoint, from a centering or consciousness standpoint, from an openness standpoint.” — Brian Mackenzie
“I am definitely recommending it to everybody… It is a truly unique method this is going to change the world.” — Alistair Overeem, Professional Fighter
Overall, I am really impressed with how the Wim Hof Method has been able to help me. It seems so simple but it actually works. There are no extra “bells and whistles” that you need to buy, no crazy contraptions, just straightforward and (researched) mental and physical exercises.
It has helped me up my performance in both my personal and professional life more than most of the nootropics that I’ve ever tried. And I have tried a lot of nootropics.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Wim Hof Method, I’ve added a great short documentary on Wim Hof and the Wim Hof Method below. I really recommend checking it out. Also, feel free to purchase the course here!