One Year of Wim Hof

Where It All Began

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with no prior mountaineering experience

Gaining Control of “The Wedge”

“Scott Carney is the perfect antagonist in the anime plot that is Wim Hof’s life: Carney is a skeptic, a journalist, and a scientist at heart — exactly the type of person that would find flaws in Wim’s method, denouncing Wim as a charlatan that profits from the countless minds of gullible people who desperately look for a way out from their physical or mental health deficiencies.

Carney is an investigative journalist and anthropologist who has worked across four continents. He has spent significant time in South Asia, speaks Hindi, and is the author of multiple books, with “What Doesn’t Kill Us” being a New York Times bestseller. His work has also been included in television and radio programs, like NPR and National Geographic TV. You can click here to learn more about Scott Carney.”

“Even though I don’t directly mention this “forgotten power” in my last blog post, I kept it as my central focus throughout the various sensory descriptions I gave about my cold plunge in Lake Josephine, Glacier National Park, MT. Carney’s description of this forgotten power can even be found in the title, in the phrase “Our Lost Evolutionary Strength.” I should also note that in that cold water plunge, that I overcame the automatic response that our bodies undergo when exposed to extreme cold — shivering. Willfully stopping yourself from shivering is a key step in building up the next forgotten power that Wim possesses:

Carney discusses one of Wim’s superhuman abilities — his build-up of brown adipose tissue (BAT), otherwise known as brown fat. Brown fat concentration is very high in human infants, since maintaining high core temperatures is an infant’s first battle to survive (alongside breathing), but in the average adult, brown fat is scarce. Wim’s percentage of brown fat compares to that of infants, likely from all the cold stimuli he has been exposed to since birth. Brown fat, unlike white fat, can actually generate heat for the body by actively burning white fat. This is almost certainly the explanation for how Wim was able to increase the temperature of his body while in an ice bath. As I mentioned earlier, your body naturally builds up brown fat when other means of generating heat are unavailable. Whether that’s due to human ingenuity (like a fire, or clothing), or a biological response (like shivering), removing those factors will spur your body to build up brown fat reserves for cold environments that you experience in the future.”



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Kevin Feng

Computer Science Student | Independent Software Developer | PC Hardware Enthusiast