Wim Hof is a Dutch world record holder, adventurer and daredevil, commonly nicknamed the Iceman for his ability to withstand extreme cold. He holds nine world records including for the longest ice bath.Wim broke his previous world record by remaining immersed in ice for 1 hour 13 minutes and 48 seconds at Guinness World Records 2008. Hof describes his ability to withstand extreme cold temperatures as being able to turn his own thermostat up by using his brain.
Wim is probably the first TEDx speaker to do his presentation in his shorts. Neither has another speaker ever spent 80 minutes on stage… and that covered in ice from neck to toe! That’s exactly what happened here today, astonishing every single person in the packed Stadsschouwburg. Wim wished to demonstrate how he can influence the hypothalamus (so called “body thermostat” ) and suppress the flammatory marks in his blood. According to Wim, he has the ability to do this because he is in balance with nature. “Nature is our teacher,” were the words that got an applause before he stepped into a box and was covered in ice.
Prof. Maria Hopman Maria Hopman, MD, PhD, FACSM, is a medical doctor interested in cardiovascular regulation and adaptation to exercise training and inactivity/deconditioning in humans.
She stepped on stage to try to explain how Wim can be exposed to ice for so long. They did an experiment with Wim, and, surprisingly enough, it showed that his core body temperature didn’t drop more than half a degree, whereas his outer body temperature drops significantly. His heart rate hardly increased (the expected reaction), yet he managed to double his metabolism.
Maria Hopman gives three possible explanations:
- Tummo meditation, a technique mostly practiced in Asia that produces heat
- Training in being exposed to the cold (Wim has done it for years)
- Genetic advantages
Please visit Wim Hof’s site for more info.