So I opened my mid-morning Sunday with some yacht rock and a core workout, but I’ve been thinking about this Wim Hof method lately because I’m currently reading Scott Carney’s book What Doesn’t Kill Us about his adventures in pursuing Wim Hof, his breathing method, and his various disciples. I just finished the chapter on Laird Hamilton who I’ve admired for years because of his devotion to the water and his genuinely over the top approach to his own fitness. Dude does squat jumps from 12 feet under water with 50 pounds of dumbbells. Insane. But he also rides 40 foot waves. His XPT program is another post entirely. I digress.
Wim Hof. Anyway. I’m doing my measly 40 minute core workout on dry land, in a climate controlled home, and I think, why not just see if the breathing/push-up thing is something? So, post measly workout, I get into the easiest position I can for falling into pushups. (NB: I tried this yesterday and I nearly blacked out. Of course, I was in a hot shower and had just finished running 10 miles.) At any rate, I’m taking precautions today. I breathe 1 second in and 1 second out for 40 breaths. I expel all the air I can and drop into pushups. I manage 15 before I need to breathe. I was hoping for 20. I check my heart rate – 122. That can’t be right, but I take my pulse at my carotid and it is. I start over and this time I hold my breath and manage 23 pushups. Pulse is 124, it rises slightly to 134 before dropping back again. I try again and get to 25 pushups. For real?
Tip of the iceberg. Literally. Wim Hof’s method also includes extreme cold training – running shirtless in the snow, ice baths, meditating barely clothed on ice, and alternatively, spending time heating up in the sauna. All of this in an effort to tap into human abilities we have seemingly underutilized over the course of our relatively quick evolution. Our bodies are far more capable than we realize. Given time and the proper training Hof postulates that humans can essentially heal themselves.
All of this leads me to this. My workout is done, my silly little test is complete for today and now I am ironing and it looks like this: