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 55)
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Occupation Record breaker
Children five

Wim Hof (born 20 April 1959) 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 climbed to 6.7 km altitude at Mount Everest wearing nothing but shorts, but failed to reach the summit due to a recurring foot injury.[4][5]

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.[6]

Hof again broke the ice endurance record in 2010 by standing fully immersed in ice for 1 hour and 44 minutes in Tokyo, Japan.[7]

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.[8] 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 (inflammatory mediators) just by using his meditation techniques. A different study on Hof while immersed in ice showed that Hof suppressed the cytokines by 100 percent.[9] 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.[10]

Personal life[edit]

He was born in the Dutch town of Sittard. He has six brothers and two sisters and with five children, four from a prior marriage, and a son, born in 2003, with his current wife.[11]

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 own body temperature.[12]

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 four degrees Celsius. When he got out of the water, the other two team members used a heat camera to reveal that his body was at about four degrees Celsius. Hof's core body temperature stayed the same for the entire twenty minutes, as did his heart rate.[13]

Scientific research[edit]

In research done by Radboud University (The Netherlands) Wim Hof trained a group of 12 volunteers to prove the immune system can be modulated.[14][15] He had already proven in 2011 the ability to control his own immune system. [16] [17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Joseph Angier, 7 March 2008, ABC News, Iceman on Everest: 'It Was Easy', Accessed 14 April 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. ^ Wim's marathon
  7. ^ "'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) 
  8. ^ Wim Hof info
  9. ^ info about the scientific results of different studies available
  10. ^ Iceman goes heat
  11. ^ "Wim Hof - The Iceman and Innerfire" at www.innerfire.nl/en-home
  12. ^ Becoming the Iceman - Official Website 11/15/2012
  13. ^ http://www.syfy.com/factorfaked/episodes/season/2/episode/213/the_grim_sleeper_the_real_mr_freeze.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ Matthijs Kox, Monique Stoffels, et al The Influence of Concentration/Meditation on Autonomic Nervous System Activity and the Innate Immune Response: A Case Study. Psychosomatic Medicine, June 2012 vol. 74 no. 5 489-494. doi: 10.1097/PSY.0b013e3182583c6d
  15. ^ Matthijs Kox, Lucas T. van Eijk et al., Voluntary activation of the sympathetic nervous system and attenuation of the innate immune response in humans. PNAS, March 2014. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1322174111
  16. ^ "Modulating your immune response". 
  17. ^ "Immuunsysteem is bewust te beïnvloeden". 

External links[edit]