Wim, is known for his incredible ability to withstand the cold. To do this he combines breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and cold immersion.
Watch these videos to get an idea of what the breathing course is about
My only experience dealing anything cold shower related, was trying to ease in to a freezing swimming pool if that counts.
- Cold showers are nothing new. In fact there’s a whole host of benefits for taking a cold showers. Athletes use them for sore muscles, and winter swimmers are reported to have less tension and fatigue.
The 10-week course will have you taking cold showers on the first day. I’ll admit I couldn’t even turn the shower knob all the way and had to slowly ease into it.
By the end of the 2nd week I was jumping straight into the cold showers with no problems at all. Once the cold “shock” hits you everything gets easier. Mindset is critical. One trick that helped me in the beginning was to look at the clock, and as soon as it hit “59” seconds, I went in and starting showering for a minute. That anchor allowed me to just jump in every time.
Let me back track and talk about the breathing exercises.
The breathing exercises freaked me out. No kidding. I couldn’t believe it was possible to completely exhale and hold that for up to 2-3 minutes.
If you want to try it Wim has the method listed for free on his website.
After the 10-week course
When I finished, I noticed that I did have more energy that lasted throughout the day. It’s a subtle kind of energy that stays with you.
I could tell the difference between days when I didn’t do Wim Hof breathing and days when I did. I do it first thing in the morning and it feels great after getting out of the cold shower. I’m able to withstand the cold for up to 10 minutes. It’s all about mindset.
After having breakfast and coffee it’s even better. And now it’s a part of my routine.
Wim Hof + Gorilla mindset + other techniques
The Wim Hof method on its own is a good thing, but I and many others modified it.
For example, during the meditation phase, I may repeat my mantra or visualize my perfect day, as described in Gorilla Mindset. I get centered and focused on the present.
From Gorilla Mindset:
The Power of Visualization
In a famous study, basketball players who wanted to improve free throw performance were asked to do one of the following: a)shoot 100 free throws a day, b) do not shoot any free throws yet visualize youself throwing them, c) shoot 100 free throws and perform the visualization exercises.
So which do think strategy worked the best ? A, B, or C?
To the shock of researchers, those athletes who shot 100 free throws improved the least. Yes, you read that correctly. Those who visualized shooting free throws improved more than those who practiced them. And those who used both visualization exercises and physical practice improved the most.
In another study, music students were asked to use breathing and repeat the words, “Bold, confident, and free” before a performance. They were shown to have exhibited significantly superior expressive performance, dynamics, performance factors, and timing. (Psychology of Well-BeingTheory, Research and Practice, Patston and Waters. 2015).
So you can see that combining visualization with breathing, meditation, will have a powerful influence on you.
To me, standing in an ice-cold shower for 10 minutes is boring. So I invested in a water-proof shower board. It comes with water-proof paper and a pencil. This allows me to write any new ideas I may have while in the shower, or I may have my mantra and positive words / quotes written on it. Even when I shower, I’m doing something positive and productive.
So check out Wim Hof.