5 tips to get started with the Wim Hof Method
Keen to start practicing the Wim Hof Method, but unsure where to begin? Here are my 5 tips to help get you started.
Go straight to the source
Do some (high quality) research
Just make a start
Learn from an Instructor
Experiment, practice & play
For those with an attention span longer than Dory from Finding Nemo read on below for more details...
Let's get started
There’s no shortage of blogs, news articles, videos and podcasts about “the Iceman” Wim Hof. Google his name and you’ll get 4.8 million hits!
While a lot of the content is awesome, insightful and helpful, a lot of it is unhelpful (or even wrong).
With all that information, from every-which source, it can be confusing to know where to begin. That’s why I’ve compiled my top 5 tips on how to start with the Wim Hof Method. Enjoy!
TIP 1. Go straight to the source
Wim & his team have developed various resources to teach you the method, both free (the 3-part mini class or mobile app) and paid (online video courses and instructor-led activities), all of which you can find on the official website. I’d really encourage anyone new to sign-up to the free mini class!
TIP 2. Do some (high quality) research
Do your research (from high quality sources, but not only academic ones - there are other experts out there). Wim’s given TED talks, spoken at conferences and on countless podcasts, had papers published about him (and even a few books). Start with people and sources you know and trust (newspapers, popular podcasts or YouTube channels) and work from there. You might find my list of resources to watch, listen and read a helpful place to start.
TIP 3. Just make a start
The first quote I heard from Wim was “Feeling is understanding” and that’s why Tip #3 is just make a start. You’ve done your research, you’re curiosity has been piqued… so just start. We learn through feeling and there’s only one way to feel what it’s like and that’s by actually doing it. Do one round of the breathing technique, try a 15 second cold shower. Just. Do. Something.
TIP 4. Learn from an Instructor
I may be biased but Tip #4 is to learn from an Instructor, this is why.
OK, so you’re breathing in your bedroom and you turned the hot tap off weeks ago, but... you’ve got questions, you’re noticing certain feelings or you’re keen to go deeper or refine your technique.
Just like with the sport you play, instructional DVDs and online forums are no replacement for one-to-one coaching from qualified individuals. And, just like sport, not every coaching style will work for you. Instructors each have their unique way of teaching and their own area of interest (mine are sports performance & mental health).
Reach out and ask them questions, feel them out and see if they're a good fit. If so, book a workshop or other activity (and don’t forget to ask questions when you’re there!). Plus, there are plenty of benefits of going to a workshop.
TIP 5. Experiment, practice & play
For those who may have been following the method for awhile, this one’s for you.
You’ve got your morning routine; curtains open, music on, you do 3 rounds of 30 breaths then start your day. Have you ever tried breathing without music, or doing 5 rounds instead of 3, what about breathing just with your nose or a slower tempo? Once we get comfortable with something, fear can often lock us to only continue doing it that way.
By experimenting in your practice you reinforce in your mind that you’re not afraid of change - a helpful skill in today’s world. And if you’re struggling to experiment… go back to your childhood and just play. Keep your practice playful and just enjoy it. The rest will follow.
So go ahead and throw a spanner in the works… it’s good for you.
Interested in coming along to one of my workshops? View my list of current activities
Like me to host one at your gym, studio, workplace or backyard? Contact me
And of course, if you want to find out if me and my workshops are the right fit for you, please get in touch via the link above.
While we love as many people as possible to experience the Wim Hof Method, for health and safety reasons the method isn’t suitable if:
You’re under 18 years of age
You're pregnant or breastfeeding
Suffer from high blood pressure or coronary heart disease (or other heart issues)
Have a history of serious health issues (e.g. stroke, heart failure)
Have Raynaud's Type 2
Suffer from migraines (this is a personal choice as cold can sometimes trigger them)
If you have specific health concerns or any serious medical issues, please consult your healthcare professional.