The Personal Transformation Technique That Can Turn You Into Superman

Wim HofRobert Parmer, Contributor
Waking Times

“Believe in yourself and know you have what it takes. Let go of all doubt and anything in your life that is causing you stress.” -Wim Hof

Recently, a close friend of mine introduced me to to the person they referred to as the Iceman. Not to be confused with the infamous criminal Richard Kuklinski, this Iceman is able to climb Mt. Everest wearing shorts and possessed other baffling qualities. To put it lightly, these feats spiked my interest.

At first these claims seemed impossible to me, so I began researching the Iceman, formally known as Wim Hof. I soon found out that motivational, groundbreaking, and incredible are all words that describe Wim Hof. And the term superhuman probably sums up his extraordinary mind the best.

  • The Iceman Does Not Fear Cold

    Wim Hof was born on April 20, 1959 in the small city of Sittard, located in the Netherlands. From an early age he always loved the cold and would often run barefoot across snow and ice.

    First Image

    Wim Hof taking a plunge in ice cold water. Image by Boogert Fotografie

    The Iceman possesses the astonishing ability to withstand freezing temperatures and remains unaffected by extreme cold in numerous ways. Hof gained widespread attention in 2008 when he was fully submerged in ice for over an hour on the Today Show. The following day he broke his previous world record for time spent immersed in ice up to the neck. The new record time was 1 hour, 13 minutes and 48 seconds. The Iceman has since broken his own record several times, in numerous locations across the globe. The current record is set at 1 hour and 52 minutes and 42 seconds!

    Wim Hof’s Achievements

    On top of his implausible ability to withstand freezing temperatures, Hof also has a long list of other accomplishments under his belt.

    Withstanding freezing cold conditions is certainly mind-bending but it doesn’t stop there. Back in 2011, Wim Hof literally ran a marathon in the Namib desert of South Africa, without drinking any water. This run caused Hof to lose 5.2 litres of water, almost 14 pounds in weight!

    In hindsight, Wim Hof also holds the record for fastest half marathon ran while barefoot on ice or snow with a time of only 2 hours 16 minutes 34 seconds.

    In fact, he currently holds 26 World Records in total. He once held the world record for longest distance swam under ice, with a distance of 57.5 meters or 188.5 feet. Although this record has since been broken, Hof achieved his record swim with no special equipment, unlike the current record holder.

    In an act of pure human endurance Wim Hof has also summited two of world’s largest mountains with limited equipment. He successfully summited Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Everest wearing only shorts and sandals.

    Second Image

    Wim Hof summiting Mt. Everest in shorts. Image via The Wim Hof Method

    Additionally, Hof has plans to break a new group-based world record. Plans are in the works for a group of 20 people to summit Mount Kilimanjaro in just 36 hours wearing only shorts and boots. This triumphant success story will show that these types of unimaginable attainments are possible for anyone who invests enough in their own mind.

    The Wim Hof Method

    So how does he do it? What’s the secret to defying what is perceived as impossible by most humans?

    Hof opened the window to his world in late 2011 when a book titled Becoming the Iceman was written by himself and a close student Justin Rosales. Explanation of his methods, heavily centered around the ancient Innerfire techniques are publicly available and completely spelled out. Anyone interested can download the pdf here.

    Wim trains his body using meditation, and breathing and exposure techniques. The culmination of Wim’s techniques opens minds to a plethora of ideas centered around mindfulness and self growth. Wim Hof’s methods closely align with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which is highlighted below.

    Hierarchy of Needs

    Achieving the Impossible With Wim: A Group Environment

    One of the most amazing things about the Wim Hof method is that it’s very attainable to anyone who wants to learn his techniques and better control both their minds and bodies. Wim Hof changes the world through effective communication with his students and creates a welcoming, uplifting environment.

    For those that are up to the challenge Wim Hof hosts in-depth workshops multiple times a year. Those interested in mastering these skills with a personally crafted angle, can unlock abilities within their bodies and minds with a group of others, including Wim Hof himself.

    Fourth Image

    Wim Hof and some students lounging out on a snow bank. Image via Inner Fire

    Students travel to the peaceful Giant Mountains of Poland to meet with the master. Age is not a factor, what matters is sincerity and genuine desire. Over the course of the stay in Poland, Hof pays close attention to all, from beginners to experts. At the end of the adventure everyone is welcome to join in a cold exposure hike to the top of a mountain in very minimal clothing. By the time of the intense hike, students have more control over themselves than they ever imagined. Through meditation and breathing techniques they defeat the cold and transcend their previous views of themselves.

    Drawbacks of the Method

    Based on the extensive research I’ve conducted I can conclude that there is only one real drawback of the method. Cold water therapy sucks, at first, but only for a while. Students begin exposing themselves ahead of time by taking cold showers and sitting in ice baths. This is a hard to process to accept at first, but over time students can overcome and become empowered by the cold. They defeat the cold, and embrace the cold.

    For more information on how to meet Wim Hof and go on your own adventure with him, check out the official post on his website.

    About the Author

    Robert Parmer is a freelance writer and student of Boise State University. Outside of writing and reading adamantly he enjoys creating and recording music, caring for his pet cat, and commuting by bicycle whenever possible. Follow Robert on Twitter @robparmer.

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