Science can’t quite figure this guy out. Some call him a freak of nature. But this man, Wim Hof, is a Dutch extreme athlete who has trained his body to withstand dangerously cold temperatures. Wim began training himself after the death of his first wife; his grief gave him the motive to become an extreme athlete.

He now teaches individuals who seek him out to learn what he calls the Wim Hof Method or WHM. Through his achievements, he has gained the well-deserved nickname: “The Iceman.”

Record Holder

Wim Hof is known for achieving several records in cold temperature environments. In his prime, he set the following world records:


  • The longest distance swam under ice (188 feet).
  • He ran a half-marathon barefoot on ice and snow.
  • Set the world record time for the most prolonged full-body exposure to ice (1 hour, 53 minutes).
  • He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in shorts and hiked up Mount Everest in shorts! (though he had to stop before reaching the summit due to a recurring issue with his foot.)

Sounds crazy, right? Well, to top it off and prove that his method of willpower works, he was once injected with a deadly strain of E. Coli bacteria, which would typically cause a response from the immune system and leave you feeling sick for days. 

However, Wim Hof, along with 12 of his students who also participated, was able to control their bodies’ responses and did not get sick. They scientifically proved that the mind could control the body in ways that were considered impossible.


As you can tell, Wim Hof is about much more than ice baths and cold showers. His method, uses a unique breathing technique to help remind the body to overcome even the most difficult challenges. One of the most powerful demonstrations occurred when Wim Hof decided to climb the world’s tallest mountain in shorts! 


As he made the accent, his foot began to get frostbite, and this is what he had to say about it “So I had a deep mental conversation with my foot, and it reported frostbite. I appreciated it was the right thing to turn back; extreme cold is a teacher. The lessons come to you through the body. You just listen.”

Wim hof under ice

The Wim Hof Method

Though Wim Hof and cold often come up hand-in-hand, there is a more significant reason for his accomplishments. The Wim Hof method is composed of several exercises geared towards releasing your full potential.


Though cold water and ice are a big part of his method, the ultimate goal goes far beyond dealing with freezing temperatures.


Through the unique application of three pillars, the Wim Hof Method unlocks potential and boosts an individual’s immune responses. Each pillar acts as one major part of the method as follows:


  • Breathing: If you start researching Wim Hof, it won’t take long for you to find something about breathing. This is because the method uses a specific breathing process to help participants increase their oxygen levels, thereby helping them have more energy and less stress.

  • Cold Therapy: This is the pillar that continues to turn heads; however, it’s not all about world records. In fact, the Wim Hof method claims to use cold therapy as a means of fat loss, fortifying immune systems, improving sleep quality, and more.

  • Commitment: Behind the other two pillars lies commitment. If there is one thing the method teaches, change takes more than a passing thought. It is only through grit and determination that the other pillars will stand. In short, it takes something to make something.

Iceman a superhero?

After everything he as achieved, Wim Hof doesn’t believe that he is special. And to prove his point, he teaches that anyone can do as he has.

“I am no superhero, And I am no Guru either, anything I can do, you can do too.”

— @iceman_hof

Wim Hof dedicates his time to being a teacher and training those who seek him out. He has published multiple books and has a website where individuals can participate in online courses.

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