Wim Hof

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Wim Hof
Wim Hof.jpg
Hof immersed in an ice bath
Born (1959-04-20) 20 April 1959 (age 57)
Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands
Occupation Daredevil
Children 5

Wim Hof (born 20 April 1959) is a Dutch daredevil, commonly nicknamed "The Iceman" for his ability to withstand extreme cold,[1] which he attributes to exposure to cold, meditation and breathing techniques (similar to the Tibetan technique Tummo).[2]

Wim Hof has set out to spread the potential health benefits of his breathing techniques, working closely with scientists around the world to prove that his techniques work.

It is thought from current studies that by consciously hyperventilating, Wim can increase his heart rate, adrenaline levels and blood alkalinity.[3] Wim is also believed to possess much higher levels of brown adipose tissue which aids in cold resistance.[citation needed]

Early life[edit]

Hof was born in Sittard, Limburg as one of nine children.[4]When he was 17 he was drawn to cold water.[5]


Hof holds 26 world records, including a world record for longest ice bath.[6] Wim describes his ability to withstand extreme cold temperatures as being able to "turn his own thermostat up" through breathing exercises.[citation needed]

2007: He climbed to 6.7 kilometres (22,000 ft) altitude at Mount Everest wearing nothing but shorts and shoes, but failed to reach the summit due to a recurring foot injury.[7][8]

2008: He broke his previous world record by staying immersed in ice for 1 hour, 13 minutes and 48 seconds at Guinness World Records 2008.[citation needed] The night before, he performed the feat on the Today Show.[citation needed]

2009: In February Hof reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in his shorts within two days.[9] Hof completed a full marathon (42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi)), above the arctic 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.[10]

2010: Hof again broke the ice endurance record by standing fully immersed in ice for 1 hour and 44 minutes in Tokyo, Japan.[11]

2011: Hof broke the ice endurance record twice, in Inzell in February and in New York City in November. The Guinness World Record is now set for 1 hour and 52 minutes and 42 seconds by Hof.[12] In September, Hof also ran a full marathon in the Namib Desert without water. The run was performed under the supervision of Dr. Thijs Eijsvogels.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Hof has five children; four of them from his first wife who passed away from suicide in 1995[14]: and a son (born in 2003) from his second wife.[15]

Fact or Faked[edit]

On 28 January 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. When he got out of the water, the other two team members used a heat camera to reveal that his surface body temperature was lowered by about four degrees Celsius. Hof's core body temperature stayed the same for the entire twenty minutes, as did his heart rate. He managed to stay submerged for over ninety minutes.[16]


Wim Hof has been blamed by relatives for the deaths of four men who each separately drowned over a period of two years when practicing this breathing exercise. They died after suffering shallow water blackouts in swimming pools.[17] Hof, however, had warned to practice his method in a safe environment with a soft ground, and never in the water or any other situation that may lead to injury.[17][18]


  1. ^ Joseph Angier, 7 March 2008, ABC News, Iceman on Everest: 'It Was Easy', Accessed 14 April 2014
  2. ^ "Wim Hof's Cold Trickery – Pepijn van Erp". www.pepijnvanerp.nl. Retrieved 2016-12-09. 
  3. ^ Kox M, van Eijk LT, Zwaag J, van den Wildenberg J, GJ Sweep FC, van der Hoeven JG, Pickkers P (May 20, 2014). "Voluntary activation of the sympathetic nervous system and attenuation of the innate immune response in humans". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 111 (20): 7379–7384. doi:10.1073/pnas.1322174111. PMC 4034215Freely accessible. Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  4. ^ "The Iceman Cometh - scottcarney.com". scottcarney.com. Retrieved 2016-12-09. 
  5. ^ Template:Https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Np0jGp6442A
  6. ^ Background information Hof, Hof Outdoor
  7. ^ "Dutch Iceman to climb Everest in shorts: It's all about the inner fire", MountEverest.net
  8. ^ "Everest climber falls short", The Age, 29 May 2007. Online copy
  9. ^ Iceman Wim Hof on Kilimanjaro Summit. YouTube. 14 February 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  10. ^ Daredevils: The Ice Man. YouTube. 18 September 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "'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) 
  12. ^ Innerfire. "Innerfire - Wim Hof, The Iceman - Innerfire". Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  13. ^ Innerfire. "Wim Hof Blog". Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  14. ^ PowerfulJRE (2015-10-21), Joe Rogan Experience #712 - Wim Hof, retrieved 2017-02-24 
  15. ^ Innerfire. "Innerfire - Wim Hof, The Iceman - Innerfire". Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "Syfy TV Official Site". Syfy. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  17. ^ a b Duin, Roelf Jan (2 July 2016). "'Iceman'-oefening eist opnieuw leven" (in Dutch). Het Parool. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  18. ^ Tijmstra, Fannie; Bomers, Loes (10 June 2016). "'Iceman' onder vuur" (in Dutch). EenVandaag. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 

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