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A Superhuman Interview Part 1: Wim Hof ‘The Iceman’

“I want to show the world that we have a beautiful mind, and how to have total control over our health, happiness and strength.”– Wim Hof

The human race has a strange habit of pushing things to the extreme. Everyday, people break records, redefine physical limits and turn the impossible into the possible.  

We climb mountains of the body and the mind.

We run thousands of miles with no ultimate finish line in sight. 

We reach speeds that make the stomach turn. 

(People used to think travelling at 30mph would cause your body to melt, seriously).      

But, only now are people realising true human potential—and it goes beyond physical strength, endurance or speed, to the depths of our being. The subconscious.

We’ve become more aware of our inner self and our ability to exert more control over it. It sounds superhuman, and it appears that way too. Our subconscious is powerful. People are finding new ways to alter their bodies to overcome greater forces than we could have ever imagined. And, what’s more exciting? We’re only at the tip of the iceberg of what’s possible.

One man leading this human evolution, and helping to rewrite the science textbooks, is Wim Hof. 

Unfamiliar with his remarkable techniques? Wim’s racked up almost 20 world records and is world renowned for taking on extreme conditions, the most notorious – climbing Kilimanjaro wearing nothing but shorts. 

The eccentric, and aptly named, Iceman isn’t a genetic anomaly, either. Everyone can practice his methods, embark on a path to self-discovery and achieve improved performance. Welcome to the mind, unleashed…

SWITCHING OFF CRUISE CONTROL

“If people learn to do what I can do, it changes all perception of what we as humans can control.” – Wim Hof. 

The concept of tapping into the subconscious to unlock greater biological potential is not a new one. Buddhist monks have practiced mental and physical healing for thousands of years. The single most important difference is now science is proving its benefits. 

The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is the cruise control of your brain, controlling body processes like breathing and digestion without your conscious effort.

In 2007, Wim – willingly – had doctors inject him with E.Coli. During this experiment, he was able to take full control of the ANS and physically prevent the bacteria from taking hold. This had never been done before. 

“Scientists observed me enter, and take control of parts of my brain previously thought inaccessible by humans,” says Wim. “It got their attention, they began testing on me, I basically became a human guinea pig.” 

It was a huge step in our understanding of how the human psyche works, and in the process he was able to discredit a previously indisputable scientific theory.

Wim hasn’t just welcomed science into his life, on a mission to open people’s minds to the power of the subconscious he actively encourages scientists to question, observe and scrutinise what he does. “I challenge any university to prove me wrong, investigate my methods, take me on. I’ve fallen in love with science as there is no space for objection. Data is data, it doesn’t lie.” 

WIM’S 3 PILLAR TECHNIQUE

Wim’s method revolves around cold therapy, breathing and commitment —also known as the three pillars. The approach unites each discipline to activate physiological responses while energising and strengthening the body. 

PILLAR #1: COLD THERAPY

Cold therapy is an essential force in accessing the ANS. Gradually building exposure through cold showers and ice baths ‘wakes up’ the body with a hike in cortisol. As a result, fat-loss is kick-started and inflammation reduced. Cold therapy releases more white blood cells to combat disease and gives you a dose of endorphins for a regulated feel-good factor. 

PILLAR #2: BREATHING

Deep breathing can directly influence how much energy is released into our body. 

“On a molecular level, this progresses via various chemical and physiological processes, Wim explains. “Breathing is the easiest and most instrumental part of the ANS to control and navigate.” And a host of benefits are gained when breath patterns are consciously altered, including a surge in energy and a huge boost to the immune system. 

PILLAR #3: COMMITMENT 

The third pillar holds up the other two. Both the radical techniques of cold exposure and conscious breathing would be near impossible to master without commitment. Ultimately, mastering the mind and body requires dedication and determination. 

“Everyone can do what I can, but no one else has woken up their physiology through extreme challenges in nature,” says Wim. 

THE LIMITLESS ATHLETE

Harder, better, faster, stronger. The cycle of self-improvement never ends for athletes and extreme sports junkies such as Dean Karnazes

Those who triumph and live to do the incredible wouldn’t be anywhere without the ability to push their body to the limit and still strive for more. But Wim believes something has become lost through modern living. “We’re disconnected from our perfect mechanism. You have the tools available, but no one is using them.”

It’s time for athletes to utilise their strongest asset—the mind. With this, the body’s extended capability will naturally follow, entering a new level of endurance.

“Deep breathing controls the mitochondria, creating more energy in the cells. And energy is power,” he explains. “It’s so simple, we’ve lost the belief that we can regulate our own power, energy and strength.” 

This is where athletes benefit from Wim’s method. 

They have the chance to draw on new energy resources, helping them push further and faster, with less fatigue. People can physically fuel their bodies in different ways, effectively supercharging them beyond anything they’ve ever experienced.

The human body is a complex, intricate mechanism. Understanding how the body functions at peak ability is crucial for athletes to remain top of their game. This is where the vascular system comes in to play.

Made up of the vessels that carry blood and lymph (white blood cells that attack harmful bacteria) around the body, the vascular system is key for delivering vital nutrients to the body tissues and taking away waste in the process.

Cold therapy shocks your vascular system to perform at its optimal rate. Exposure to the cold detoxifies the body, rapidly increasing recovery time and strengthening the nervous system. In the Iceman’s words, “A cold shower a day keeps the doctor away.” 

“The athletes I train feel more endurance, more power and more restorative rehabilitation,” he says. “They love it.” 

Unleashing the power of the mind gives those who succeed the key to unlocking inner strength. A turbo injection for physical performance.

START AT THE END OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

Experience something in yourself that you never have before.” – Wim Hof

We, as humans, have become constrained by comfort. 

Temperature controlled environments, drugs for every alignment, and a sedentary culture of fast food and immediacy. These comfort states have created a hormonal imbalance within us which needs to be restored to the ideal level (homeostasis).

In the deepest recesses of our minds lies the adrenal axis, a complex set of interactions and feedback loops between the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands. These systems work together to provide the brain with positive or negative ‘feedback’ based on what we are experiencing at any given time. This feedback fuels our response to stressful events, and works to return the body to homeostasis as soon as possible

The body actually needs stress hormones to steer our fight or flight response. One of the studies conducted on Wim showed that he was able to spike adrenaline in the body to that of someone just about to bungee jump, while lying flat on a bed. By actively increasing the concentration of stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol), body functions like immunity and growth can be controlled. 

Wim says, “By actively immersing yourself into a stressful situation, the cell structure is positively affected, the primordial cell division is restored. That means the projective proteins around the cell, which we have lost through our comfort zone behaviour, are activated

Embracing stress in this way means athletes are able to rehabilitate the body quicker, increase muscle optimisation and rapidly absorb nutrients into the bloodstream. 

Wim explains how unlocking this knowledge puts you more in tune with your body. “You begin to understand yourself better. This gives you more confidence and as you realise the subconscious logic behind your goals, you will be able to change.” 

PUSHING IMPOSSIBLE 

“We’re only on the threshold of unearthing the true power of the mind.” – Wim Hof. 

Wim’s techniques are still being tested, refined and developed, making it difficult to pin-point what’s possible. He’s working on genetics and solving ancestral riddles, tapping even further into the subconscious to find the answers.

Anyone can join Wim’s mission, it just takes motivation. People need to demonstrate a desire to change themselves. “Everyone now needs to take over the steering wheel themselves,” he says. “If we are able to access the deepest part of the brain consciously, suddenly we become the master of our own mood.” 

“Be happy, strong and healthy.” Wim Hof is a real example of where science meets nature. 

He’s on a mission to free the world from synthetic drugs and encourage people to head into self-improvement by harnessing the power of their mind. 

He’s spreading his word organically, to those willing to listen and try something new. For more information about his techniques visit his website.

Follow Wim on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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