Wim Hof, who is known for the Wim Hof Method and his ability to resist negative temperatures, setting world records for swimming under ice, running marathons in the desert with no water and prolonged full-body contact with ice. Oh and running up Everest in only a pair of shorts.
We sat down with the man himself to find out more about how Hof grew up close to the border in Germany, his introduction to the cold, how he discovered the Wim Hof Method and how he is using it to help others around the world.
Oli Russell-Cowan: Hey guys today on Rad Season I’m going to be talking to the man, the myth, the legend, The Iceman himself. Wim, thank you so much for coming on. What fascinates you with the cold?
Wim Hof: If you go into the cold, it’s like an antidote, like a vaccine. You don’t get winter depression when you go into the cold. You feel just great. When you are depressed you are missing adrenalin and dopamine. Adrenaline goes up 530% when you go into the cold. Dopamine goes up 250%. The cold is a cure for depression. Any doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist should prescribe it.
I’m doing a big series with BBC One in America, Asia, Australia, Japan and Europe to spread the message that we have an innate capacity to reactivate our control over balancing what is out of balance. That is the dopamine and adrenaline in the case of depression but it also works on inflammation for example.
Psychically, physically, mentally, emotionally, I’m the best of the world. And that is what everybody should be able to feel, the best of himself.
I’m not better than anybody but I’m the best of myself. That makes me the best of the world. And I want to show this to the whole world.
Russell-Cowan: How did you use the method yourself?
Hof: When I lost my wife in 1995 through suicide, I had four children. I had little money, and only an apartment. The soul search was really odd because I was heartbroken. I had little money. I had four children and the love of my life was gone. I was desperate inside, but I could not succumb to it. I had to find a way to get up and create a warm nest for my kids without money. And I did it.
Going into the cold really cuts through all the chatterbox and all the emotions. You just survive. Every time I went into the cold, it silenced the emotional agony of being heartbroken and having worries about the future.
My whole dream was shattered. If you go into the cold, you get to a moment of stillness. That healed me. I was able to just be and that was relief, a natural relief. During those days, I was in the cold water several times every day. I was doing my breathing exercises at home at four o’clock in the morning every day. I was very focused, more disciplined than the military. I was not drinking, not smoking, there was no need. I was high on my own supply all the time. The circumstances they drove me to go really deep, to be able to take care of my four kids alone, heartbroken and come out of there with a warm nest, being happy and spontaneous and becoming a great guy. This is what happens if you go into the depth of yourself. There is a great guy waiting within yourself.
Russell-Cowan: Can anyone do the Wim Hof Method?
Hof: Anyone can. It’s very accessible and powerful. I give people the tools, they got to turn the buttons. If you use the tools I provide it will work. The tools give you the ability to reach physiological depth. Depression has no space, inflammation becomes completely different and the lack of energy suddenly is gone. People find peace inside which they did not know is there. To be or not to be.
Russell-Cowan: What are you looking to accomplish?
Hof: My mission is to make people happy, strong and healthy. I want to show them that they can get greater control from within than ever thought before. That’s my aim. Completing the records were not my aim. I did them to attract attention and it worked. I got the attention of the scientific world.
The doctors said what this man is doing is not possible. Let’s experiment on him. That’s what they did.
I changed the fundamental understanding of what we are capable of within our body, through the mind. I got a solution. It’s not me. I found it in nature and I’m just passing it on.
Russell-Cowan: It’s been a pleasure speaking to you. Thanks so much for your time. We’re definitely going to be keeping an eye on on what you’re up to.
Hof: Great conversation. Thank you for having me.
Rad Season is providing you with hotels and Airbnbs at the lowest prices available online. Book your stay near Amsterdam, The Netherlands using the map below!