Wim Hof

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Wim Hof
Wim Hof.jpg
"Iceman" Wim Hof immersed in an ice bath
Born (1959-04-20) 20 April 1959 (age 54)
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Occupation Record breaker
Children five

Wim Hof (born 20 April 1959, in Sittard, Limburg) is a Dutch world record holder, adventurer and daredevil, commonly nicknamed the Iceman for his ability to withstand extreme cold.[1]


Hof holds twenty world records including a world record for longest ice bath.[2] He broke his previous world record by staying immersed in ice for 1 hour, 13 minutes and 48 seconds at Guinness World Records 2008. The night before, he performed the feat on the Today Show.

Wim describes his ability to withstand extreme cold temperatures as being able to "turn his own thermostat up" by using his mind.

In February 2009 Hof reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in his shorts within two days.[3]

In 2007 he attempted, but failed (due to a foot injury), to climb Mount Everest wearing nothing but shorts.[4][5] Hof has been criticized for his stated justifications for this attempt: "Edmund Hillary's ascent of Mount Everest was a testament to human achievement; my climb of Mount Everest in my shorts will be a monument to the frivolous, decadent nature of modern society."[6]

In 2009 Hof completed a full marathon (42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi)), above the polar circle in Finland, in temperatures close to −20 °C (−4 °F). Dressed in nothing but shorts, Hof finished in 5 hours and 25 minutes. The challenge was filmed by Firecrackerfilms, who make productions for BBC, Channel 4 and National Geographic.[7]

Hof again broke the ice endurance record in 2010 by standing fully immersed in ice for 1 hour and 44 minutes in Tokyo, Japan.[8]

In 2011 Hof broke the ice endurance record twice, in Inzell in February and in New York in November. The Guinness World Record is now set for 1 hour and 52 minutes and 42 seconds by Hof.[9] On 18 April, Hof got the test results regarding the "The influence of concentration/meditation on autonomic nervous system activity and the innate immune response" case study, demonstrating that he is able to directly influence his own Autonomic Nervous System and Immune System. Hof seems to be able to raise his cortisol levels and lower the amount of cytokines (flammatory bodies) just by using his meditation techniques. A different study on Hof while immersed in ice showed that Hof suppressed the cytokines by 100 percent.[10] In September 2011, Hof also ran a full marathon in the Namib Desert without water. The run was performed under the supervision of Dr. Thijs Eijsvogels.[11]

Personal life[edit]

He was born in the Dutch town of Sittard, 2 kilometres away from the German border, and seven kilometres from the Belgian border. He has six brothers and two sisters along with four children from a prior marriage, and a son, born in 2003, with his current wife.[12]


After 30 years of training and mirroring himself in hard nature, Hof is teaching people his methods. Everybody (every mind) has the ability to reach for more than that which they thought themselves capable of, according to Hof. Hof started to work together with his oldest son in March 2011. Innerfire came to life. If you look at their logo you can see one person meditating and another making a gainer around him. These two figures are Hof and son. The meditating figure stands for the sympathetic nervous system and the figure jumping around him stands for the parasympathetic nervous system.[13]

Becoming the Iceman[edit]

Becoming the Iceman

In November 2011 Hof and his student Justin Rosales published Becoming the Iceman, a book documenting their background, adventures, training, exclusive methods and exercises used to attain the ability to endure extreme temperatures. The book proposes that it is possible for anyone to control their body temperature.[14]

Fact or Faked[edit]

On 19 April 2012, an episode of the US television program Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files, featuring Hof, was broadcast. Hof was tested against a member of the team named Austin, both sitting in a tank full of ice. Austin sat in the tank for about 20 minutes, with his surface body temperature falling to forty degrees Fahrenheit. When he got out of the water, the other two team members used a heat camera to reveal that his body was at about forty degrees Fahrenheit.[citation needed] Hof's core body temperature stayed the same for the entire twenty minutes, as did his heart rate.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Joseph Angier, March 7, 2008, ABC News, Iceman on Everest: 'It Was Easy', Accessed April 14, 2014
  2. ^ Background information Hof, Hof Outdoor
  3. ^ Wim Hof reached Mount Kilimanjaro footage
  4. ^ "Dutch Iceman to climb Everest in shorts: It's all about the inner fire", MountEverest.net
  5. ^ "Everest climber falls short", The Age, 29 May 2007. Online copy
  6. ^ "Everest climb fuels commercialisation debate", Sydney Morning Herald, 16 April 2007.
  7. ^ Wim's marathon
  8. ^ "'Iceman' Wim Hof breekt wereldrecord ijsstaan" ['Ice man' Wim Hof breaks world record for staying in ice water]. AT5 Nieuws (in Dutch) (Amsterdam). 3 January 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2012. "Hij stond 1 uur en 44 minuten tot en met zijn nek in het ijs (He stood up to his neck in ice water for 1 hour and 44 minutes)" 
  9. ^ Wim Hof info
  10. ^ info about the scientific results of different studies available
  11. ^ Iceman goes heat
  12. ^ "Wim Hof - The Iceman and Innerfire" at www.innerfire.nl/en-home
  13. ^ "Wim Hof - The Iceman and Innerfire" at www.innerfire.nl/en-home
  14. ^ Becoming the Iceman - Official Website 11/15/2012

External links[edit]