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 56)
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] Research has shown that Wim Hof is able to control his autonomic nervous system[2] and this ability can be learned.[citation needed]

Early life[edit]

Hof was born in Sittard, Limburg. He has six brothers and two sisters.[citation needed]


Hof holds 20 world records, including a world record for longest ice bath.[3] Wim describes his ability to withstand extreme cold temperatures as being able to "turn his own thermostat up" by using his mind through yoga.[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.[4][5]

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.[6] 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.[7]

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

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] 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.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Hof has five children: four from a prior marriage, and a son (born in 2003) with his current wife.[11]

Becoming the Iceman[edit]

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: 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 [[inbody temperature was at 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.[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.[2][16]


  1. ^ Joseph Angier, 7 March 2008, ABC News, Iceman on Everest: 'It Was Easy', Accessed 14 April 2014
  2. ^ a b "Radboudumc - Research - Modulating your immune response". www.radboudumc.nl. Retrieved 2015-12-06. 
  3. ^ Background information Hof, Hof Outdoor
  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. ^ Iceman Wim Hof on Kilimanjaro Summit. YouTube. 14 February 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  7. ^ Daredevils: The Ice Man. YouTube. 18 September 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  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. ^ Innerfire. "Innerfire - Wim Hof, The Iceman - Innerfire". Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  10. ^ Innerfire. "Wim Hof Blog". Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  11. ^ Innerfire. "Innerfire - Wim Hof, The Iceman - Innerfire". Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Becoming The Iceman - Pushing Past Perceived Limits". Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  13. ^ "Syfy TV Official Site". Syfy. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  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. ^ "Immuunsysteem is bewust te beïnvloeden". Retrieved 2015-12-06. 

External links[edit]