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 58)
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.[3]

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America claims that by consciously hyperventilating, Wim can increase his heart rate, adrenaline levels and blood alkalinity.[4] Wim is also believed to possess much higher levels of brown adipose tissue which aids in cold resistance.[5]

Early life[edit]

Hof was born in Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands as one of nine children.[6] When he was 17 he was drawn to cold water.[7]


Hof holds 26 world records, including a world record for longest ice bath.[8] 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.[9][10]

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.[11] 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.[12]

2010: Hof again broke the ice endurance record by standing fully immersed in ice for 1 hour and 44 minutes in Tokyo, Japan.[13]

2011: Hof broke the ice endurance record twice, in Inzell in February and in New York City in November, setting a new Guinness World Record of 1 hour, 52 minutes, and 42 seconds.[14] In September, Hof ran a full marathon in the Namib Desert without water, under the supervision of Dr. Thijs Eijsvogels.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Hof has five children, four of them with his first wife who took her own life in 1995,[16] and a son, born in 2003 to his second wife.[17] Hof feels that sadness over the loss of his first wife was formative in leading him to develop techniques to face low temperature environments. [18]


Wim Hof has been blamed by relatives of four men who separately drowned in 2015 and 2016 when practising his breathing exercise. They died after suffering shallow water blackouts in swimming pools.[19][20] Hof, however, had given warnings on his website, including that his method should be practised "in a safe environment (e.g. sitting on a couch/floor) and unforced. Never ... before or during diving, driving, swimming, taking a bath or any other environment/place where it might be dangerous to faint".[21]


  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. ^ https://www.vice.com/en_dk/article/iceman
  4. ^ 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. PMC 4034215Freely accessible. doi:10.1073/pnas.1322174111. Retrieved January 28, 2017. 
  5. ^ http://thoughtbrick.com/wim-hof-method/wim-hof-breathing-brown-fat-activation-technique/
  6. ^ "The Iceman Cometh - scottcarney.com". scottcarney.com. Retrieved 2016-12-09. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Background information Hof, Hof Outdoor
  9. ^ "Dutch Iceman to climb Everest in shorts: It's all about the inner fire", MountEverest.net
  10. ^ "Everest climber falls short", The Age, 29 May 2007. Online copy
  11. ^ Iceman Wim Hof on Kilimanjaro Summit. YouTube. 14 February 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  12. ^ Daredevils: The Ice Man. YouTube. 18 September 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  13. ^ "'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) 
  14. ^ Innerfire. "Innerfire - Wim Hof, The Iceman - Innerfire". Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  15. ^ Innerfire. "Wim Hof Blog". Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  16. ^ PowerfulJRE (2015-10-21), Joe Rogan Experience #712 - Wim Hof, retrieved 2017-02-24 
  17. ^ Innerfire. "Innerfire - Wim Hof, The Iceman - Innerfire". Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  18. ^ Innerfire. "Innerfire - Wim Hof, The Iceman - Innerfire". Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  19. ^ Tijmstra, Fannie; Bomers, Loes (10 June 2016). "'Iceman' onder vuur" (in Dutch). EenVandaag. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  20. ^ Duin, Roelf Jan (2 July 2016). "'Iceman'-oefening eist opnieuw leven" (in Dutch). Het Parool. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  21. ^ "Practice the Wim Hof Method". Wim Hof Method. Archived from the original on 29 November 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2017.  A YouTube video dated 4 March 2010—long before the reported deaths—with warnings similar to the current ones.

External links[edit]