I am Iceman. AMA.

Hi, I'm Wim Hof, the Iceman.

I have taught myself how to control my heart rate, breathing and blood circulation, using only mind control. I hold 21 Guinness World Records - some of my achievements include running a marathon above the Arctic circle in shorts, climbing the highest mountains on earth in only shorts, and running a full marathon in the Namib desert without water.


To watch the documentary VICE made about me please follow this link: http://www.vice.com/en_uk/video/iceman

My Proof: http://imgur.com/tlLZELz

Comments: 268 • Responses: 69  • Date: 

zoidboob39 karma

Are you able to prevent yourself from getting a boner at will?

iceman_hof58 karma

Yes, of course. Somebody tried to seduce me whilst I was naked outside and she was touching me. When I do my yoga, no one can distract me. I am completely in control.

notyouraveragejoe9621 karma

How did you not die when climbing everest in shorts, surely the cold would freeze you to death?

iceman_hof23 karma

I know my limits. I know what I can do. I am in every moment, interacting with nature and responding to it.

AndyDQ121 karma

At what age did you first start trying to learn these skills?

iceman_hof18 karma

I was about 17 years old.

Greel8912 karma

Do you think there are other "superhuman" abilities that you can learn to control that people are unaware of? Or any that you know that others possess?

iceman_hof47 karma

Any person has all the abilities to become happy, strong and healthy. Once you are those things, why do you need superhuman abilities?

iceman_hof10 karma

That's all for now, thanks for talking guys!

aedriolo10 karma

For me, as a person with low temper and many doubts, what are your tricks to keep your mind cool? How do you stop worrying and start controlling what happens in your body?

iceman_hof12 karma

Just go deeper within yourself. Find your true being, your conscious deeper breathing. You are in the depth of your brain. To stop worrying, learn to feel deeper by breathing deeper.

aedriolo4 karma

any specific breathing-techniques? or simply focus on breathing?

iceman_hof7 karma

I bring about a control over the nervous system. We use breath to get there, we change the chemistry in the body. You should look into the free course: www.wimhofmethod.com/video-miniclass

rzr9998 karma

How can we book one of your walking up the mountain courses?

iceman_hof4 karma

Just book it on my website, innerfire.nl.

restlesssspirit8 karma

Hi Wim, how important is diet to your physical feats and lifestyle? Are there any particular food groups that you emphasise or exclude?

iceman_hof11 karma

I just eat once a day, in the evening, after 6pm. I have done for 38 years, and I'm doing really well, because I know how to bring about energy through better breathing.

UglyTitties8 karma

Do you think other people can teach themselves what you taught yourself?

iceman_hof16 karma

Yes, I do that in a couple of days. We have an online video for that which takes you 10 weeks, and gradually you get into the depths of your physicality.

BarackObongma7 karma

Do consider marijuana a drug?

iceman_hof14 karma

No, it is a medicine.

dombination6 karma

Have you ever whilst doing any of your feats come close to death? If so why?

iceman_hof9 karma

A couple of times, but a man who exposes himself completely in nature is very experienced with the danger. He doesn't make a step unaware.

fr1sky6 karma

What are your favorite places in the world? P.S. loved the vice documentary and you seem like a very charismatic and overall great person to be around.

iceman_hof7 karma

Nature. Wherever there is pure nature.

gourmetsheet6 karma

What compelled you at first to focus your time on these unique skills? What drove you to keep going? I imagine it's a long and hard road to be at the level you're at now, especially in such extreme activity.

iceman_hof4 karma

It's the flow - it feels really good. I don't have a daily routine, I have so much going on all the time, but I keep on breathing and doing my exercises. I enjoy painting and singing.

leeballso5 karma

Hey Wim, I found your VICE documentary fascinating. I was left feeling really uplifted and inspired, so thanks!

My question is, who or what inspires you?

PS. Breathe motherf*cker!

iceman_hof5 karma

Motivational people and nature inspire me. Pure life. Life is good. Not living, that is a shame.

PsPeet5 karma

How much time and effort does it take to acquire your skills?

iceman_hof5 karma

10 weeks and a lot of motivation, you have to really want it - then anything is possible. Namely, becoming happy, strong and healthy.

Leaf34465 karma

When you finished this marathon, surely you were thirsty?

iceman_hof16 karma

Yes. I was very thirsty, I had a couple of beers. There is no dogma.

prophetiamortis5 karma

How long does it take for you to recover after these feats?

iceman_hof5 karma

A couple of hours.

juloxx5 karma

For those that do not have (direct) acess to learn your method, what are some everyday (or at least semi-accessible) practices that can help develop our inner super human?

iceman_hof4 karma

Believe in yourself, take cold showers, and practice deeper breathing.

Fresher185 karma

What inspired you to do what you do?

iceman_hof8 karma

Going into the depths of life itself - pure feeling. No speculation, no philosophising. If you feel deeply, you are not thinking - like in love. You are carried away.

Any challenge I take up inspires deep feeling. Cold brings you back to your physiological depth. Merciless but righteous.

anuragdidit2 karma


iceman_hof5 karma

We have shown with a group of people that you can go deep into your physiology within a couple of days. If you look at the video, you can be self-assertive and just do it - bring out better control of the nervous system, the immune system and the endocrine system. It's about mood and power - adrenaline and serotonin.

untumulted5 karma

What makes you tick?

iceman_hof6 karma

Timelessness. Deep feeling - that makes the time go away.

Kennyiskickass1 karma

losing track of time for you is a bad thing?

iceman_hof4 karma

If you go into your feeling, like love, you don't feel time. Time is a thing of the mind.

FuttBucker24244 karma

When did you figure out you could control your heart rate?

iceman_hof6 karma

In university, by measurement.

Forttomato4 karma

Whats one of the coolest places you've been? Temperature wise or not?

iceman_hof3 karma

There are artificial places which go down to minus 130. The outer polar circle, too, it is minus 40.

jdalex4 karma

Have you ever met anyone else that can do what you do?

iceman_hof3 karma

Some people have tried, but not really.

Thelodious4 karma

I am very interested in learning your method of meditation but it seemed pretty expensive online. Is there anywhere I can find a reliable introduction to it, like a beginners guide intro type deal? Also I was very interested in what you said in the video about your meditation being more effect then conventional mental health therapy with a therapist because I want to become a therapist and if there is a better way to treat mental illness I would rather learn that. Could you expand on how your method of meditation could help treat mental illness

iceman_hof2 karma

The amount of money is relatively cheap. We also have a free online mini video course.

We do research on mental illness, we have a full professional team for that. I have many therapists who are learning my method who come to see what I do. This method is revolutionary. People should take it up.

Mikeydoes4 karma

Are you actively working with scientists?

How long did it take you to master it, and what are some things you do to practice?

iceman_hof4 karma

Yes, always. I am in an ongoing research program.

It takes 10 weeks to master, if you are really committed. I practice breathing techniques, sometimes physical exercises such as push ups without breathing. All sorts of flexibility exercises, because I know how to manipulate the blood flow to become very flexible. I can still do splits and handstands, even though I'm not training so much, I maintain, in this natural state. Like an animal, as we all are.

FullyWoodenUsername4 karma

Hello! What are your views regarding religions? Are you believer? If yes, in what?

Thank you :)

iceman_hof10 karma

I am an absolute believer. There is much more than meets the eye, but is religion about spirituality or killing each other? The real message of religion is love, but something went wrong. I bring clarity with science.

loso1014 karma

Have you ever felt like F this in the middle of a record. An do you do trips to schools?

iceman_hof3 karma

Yeah, sure. And yes, of course. I work with schools, and children - I love it.

loso1013 karma

How much to get you to come to a school? An how would one go about getting a hold of an agent?

iceman_hof5 karma

If you go to innerfire.nl, talk with the office and we are very into helping people. If people are seriously motivated, we will come.

juloxx4 karma

After watching your video I noticed a huge similarity between your breathing techniques and Doctor Stan Groffs Holotropic Breathwork

My question is, has any of these experiences (be it breathing or extreme isolation/cold) brought forth a mystical experience? You know something that feels "other dimensional" or something of the sort? If so, have such experiences been beneficial?

iceman_hof4 karma

Interesting, I don't know of his work. We have shown that we are the first group in the world to influence the autonomous nervous system, and that's very important.

We go into the brain with our techniques, and we have proven to be able to generate more adrenaline, lying in bed with breathing techniques, than somebody going into a bungee jump for the first time.

ziggykareem4 karma

How do you apply these mental techniques to in your day to day?

iceman_hof3 karma

Conscious breathing, thinking about new challenges. I am going by scientific research.

kevstar033 karma

Hi Iceman,

Your feats are really something to behold. Overcoming human limits is really extraordinary. Do you think you are genetically inclined to surpass limits or can any ordinary man can do the things that you do with proper training?

iceman_hof4 karma

With proper training, anyone can do it. I have an identical twin brother, but he can't do it, because he hasn't trained well. It's an awakening of your own power.

viva-la-kevolution3 karma

What's your favourite moment during those challenges? Or would you be so concentrated during them?

What's next for you and your skills? New challenges?

iceman_hof6 karma

My favourite moment is being in a trance, and feeling that you really are able to do it. The flow itself.

The next challenge is going to be going up Kilimanjaro in shorts in record time with a group of people.

Createdbeard3 karma

"using only mind control".... So would you attribute or.. liken that to your own style of meditation and if so, how did you you go about figuring 'it'* out?

*Referring to your style of mind control/meditation/whatever you want to call it

iceman_hof4 karma

There is a neural path between the brain and the body. We have proven this scientifically. Anyone is able to reinforce this neural path, and it makes you feel tremendously good inside.

tsaimodai3 karma

What are things a everyday average person can do once or twice a day to help strengthen his/her body? Something that you've picked up in your experience but can pass on to us normal people in a toned down version. Thanks!

iceman_hof4 karma

Finish with a cold shower, and breath deeper and more consciously.

VerifexDown3 karma

How can I learn your skills from all the way in East Coast United States?

iceman_hof4 karma

My free course: www.wimhofmethod.com/video-miniclass. Very soon, we will have an English version of our latest book, explaining everything in detail.

itsyakovic3 karma

Hi Wim

Do you have any new achievements you are working towards?

iceman_hof4 karma

I want to set up orphanages to help children, and I'm sure I'll be climbing more mountains. Let the world challenge me - I'll be there.

jmbrooklyn3 karma

Hi Wim Hof -

Do your techniques help aid against frostbite or other epidermis-related or physical bodily damage from your activities?

And, have you ever trained with Shaolin Monks?

iceman_hof4 karma

Yes, because our natural ability to withstand cold makes us able to not freeze, and not go below 0 degrees. If your cells go below that temperature, you get irreparable damage. If you expose yourself to that temperature, your body knows what to do to not freeze. The body is able to go to the extremities beside the core, which remains 37 degrees.

I can do all that stuff, I trained with Kung-Fu masters in Beijing, and they respected me very much.

uberlad3 karma

Two questions:

  • What kind of marathon training did you do? Body control and environmental extremes aside, marathon training was critical for me to even get close to finishing the full 26.2
  • What's your very best life advice?

iceman_hof5 karma

Just breathing.

Just be happy and control yourself and your mood. Breath deep.

Arboritus3 karma

Hey Wim ! What is your "morning ritual" (running, meditation ... or you have none)? Thanks :)

iceman_hof2 karma

Breathing - conscious breathing.

johnnyfivey3 karma

Did your breathing methods start with a yoga practice?

iceman_hof4 karma

No, it started with going into cold water. Automatically, your breathing changes.

Fat-Elmo3 karma

Hi Wim, you mentioned that you did a lot of reading; what books would you recommend please?

iceman_hof4 karma


When I was younger, I read hundreds of books about culture in general - philosophy, traditions, history, martial arts, languages - I speak 10 languages - animals, biology, I like geography very much, and of course physiology.

edencamps3 karma

Is there any place in the world you haven't gone and want to go to?

iceman_hof6 karma

I'd like to go to South America, particularly to the Kogi people in Colombia. They are the fathers of the world, I'd like to talk to them and see what they do.

Fejawom3 karma

In several answers here you've pointed out that you focus on achieving 'pure feeling' in order to be able to - if I may be so frank - do the awesome stuff you do. Does this pure feeling include emotions or is it an emotionless state?

iceman_hof4 karma

It's pure emotion, it is beautiful. Nature provides that to the deepest level within you, and helps you recognise loving somebody - you just feel it.

Silverlight423 karma

Wow, a real world example of Psychometabolism. Very cool.

Do you do any martial arts?

If I learnt your techniques, could I lose weight?

iceman_hof5 karma

Yes, karate, kung fu, taekwondo, tai chi. But not actively.

Yes, you get better cell activity because of breathing, and that creates energy, which is taken from white fat.

MajesticalMuffin3 karma

Wim, welcome to Reddit!

Would you rather fight one horse sized duck, or 100 duck sized horses?

iceman_hof4 karma

I think the first is worse.

If I had some problems, I could defend myself by being fearless within myself. I never need to fight, I just talk to people, I love people.

Kut-Kush2 karma

Do you have a luck pair of shorts that you wear for tougher than usual tasks?

iceman_hof2 karma

No, I always lose them afterwards.

noxure2 karma

Hi Wim,

When you go into uncharted territory, how do you estimate the risks you are taking?

iceman_hof2 karma

I feel it. I learnt that climbing without gear, you have to trust your intuition and instinct. You are part of the world.

Seriouslynothought2 karma

You inspire people. Who inspires you?

iceman_hof2 karma

People who are motivated inspire me to go on. People like Mandela, Ghandi, people like that. Ordinary people being outstanding. Anybody can do it, but who is doing it?

Django_Unchanged2 karma

Were you, by any chance on Stan Lee's Super Humans show?

iceman_hof1 karma

I think so, I don't know.

CheeseDischarge2 karma

On your Wikipedia page it says you can "turn your thermostat up". Does this mean that you can also turn it down? If you had a fever could you turn down your body temperature?

iceman_hof2 karma

Oh yes, I can. Fever is inflammation, and I can turn that down and have done.

Skippy4Buds2 karma

Hello! I watched Vice's documentary on you a while back and it really inspired me! Now, heres the question: Would your method work for controlling metabolic processes, such as burning fat and turning it into muscle at a faster than average rate? What about for someone who has a metabolism that doesnt work at its full potential?

iceman_hof2 karma

Yes, we have shown this scientifically.

nikeyourself2 karma

life is about balance right? how long can you sit in a sauna?

iceman_hof1 karma

A long time - as long as I like it.

ahmed10nir2 karma

what is something you regret not knowing about having your method work?

iceman_hof1 karma

The full strength of the matter still needs to be proven. My method, to me, is very clear, but to make it really clear and bring it about for everybody, we need more scientific evidence about the depth of what is going on. Until now, we have seen from scientists we are into the centre of the DNA - that means a whole lot.

jcush3132 karma

How thirsty were you after the desert marathon?

iceman_hof2 karma

I had a lot of blisters on my feet whilst I was doing it because all the liquid in my body retreated towards the core, so my feet became vulnerable. I was not allowed to drink, because it was a physiological experiment, too. They poured water over my feet, and never have I appreciated the sight of water so much. You cannot imagine how thirsty I was, it is a different dimension.

MediocriticPea2 karma

Hello, and thanks for doing this AMA! I would like to ask you, how did you start? How did you train your mind to control your body? Were you inspired by some eastern religions for example, or did you begin discovering the powers of your mind yourself, with your own methods?

Thank you!

iceman_hof1 karma

I never had a teacher, but I read many books. The real inspiration I got from the cold - the cold is my teacher.

shovelsocks2 karma

Can your exercises work for treating someone who suffers from chronic pains and IBS?

iceman_hof1 karma

Yes, they can. We are into new scientific research for that, which is coming out soon.

nugelz2 karma

How long can you hold your breath for?

iceman_hof4 karma

About 10 minutes.

pizzadude12 karma

How did you cope when your wife died? What did you do for you in order to heal your heart?

iceman_hof1 karma

I climbed mountains. I went back into nature. Many people say it's irresponsible, but I found my silence there.

SemperPearce2 karma

With all the amazing things you've seen or experienced is there somewhere that you'd still love to visit and/or something you'd love to do?

iceman_hof2 karma

I would like to bring this method to any person in the world - that's my mission.

wicro2 karma

Hey, thanks for being here! Your story has fascinated me for some time, and I have two questions for you.

Which of your many records are you most proud of?

And what was the scariest attempt that you ever pulled off, and why was it scary?

Thank you!

iceman_hof2 karma

I am most proud of swimming under the ice, climbing Mount Everest, and the half marathon barefoot.

The scariest was when I almost died underneath the ice with no goggles on. My eyeballs froze, and I couldn't see anything. I was unconscious and almost drowned. But I did not feel any agony. I lost my fear for death.

treyisajedi932 karma

I know this ability is a huge part of who you are as a person so I understand if you can't answer this but if you did not posses this ability what would you be doing with your life?

iceman_hof3 karma

Trying my best. Routine, taking care of my children, work - like everybody. I've worked before like everyone else.

iredditfrommytill2 karma

Have you ever been deep into a challenge you've set your self, and had a moment of doubt? If so, when/what/where/why?

iceman_hof7 karma

Many times. It was on Mount Everest, the first time. I was climbing in shorts, barefoot, running a marathon at 15,000 feet. The first night we went up, I panicked - "you arsehole, why do always look for these idiotic challenges?" But in the morning, I was fully awake, and the doubt was gone. Sometimes, when I'm alone in my hotel room setting these records, I ask myself what I am doing, but once it is done, it is great, and I am on for a new idiotic challenge.

This life is crazy, and I am crazy about life.

The_mness2 karma

Wim I have been controlling my immune system and hormone release (including DMT) through meditation and mental focus for years. I have always believed my mind has complete control over my body. I have Crohn's disease and have successfully stopped taking medicine after 10 years of constant trips to the hospital.. Your documentary has given my so much confidence in my practice! Do you have any tips on taking my focus to the next level?? Do you offer any one on one workshops like the one shown in the documentary??

iceman_hof3 karma

Breathing is the missing link. That will amplify it. The right mindset, then the right breathing exercises, will amplify your power.

Yes, you can find them on my website innerfire.nl.

dribblefc1 karma

What are your favourite shorts for breaking records in? I like cargo shorts because they have many pockets to hold my things, but I also like the lightness and maneuverability of football shorts.

iceman_hof1 karma

Both. If I go up mountains, I like shorts with pockets, but if I'm doing sports, I wear something lighter.