Wim Hof Breathing Not Working? Try This.

Update: in July 2018 I finally decided to take the official Wim Hof 10-week Fundamentals course.  I wrote up my experiences as I went.

Like any self-experimenter worth their salt, I couldn’t wait to give the Wim Hof method a try.

Before visiting a friend in 2017, we’d messaged about one of my four 2017 resolutions – meditation.  He said, “Meditation is great.  I personally use a breathing technique that’s from a guy called Wim Hof and I have found it to be really really responsive for improving myself.

My First Time Wim Hof Breathing

Two months later, I found myself sitting a hundred yards from the ocean on a warm, breezy Australian afternoon while kind of hyperventilating with my friend and a few of his neighbors.  He told us to breathe in deeply and exhale quickly 30- 40 times.  On the final exhale, we were to breathe comfortably out and then try not to inhale for as long as possible.  Once we could no longer resist inhaling, we were to inhale deeply and hold the fresh air in our lungs for 10 – 15 seconds.  When we released the air from our lungs, we were supposed to breathe out until we couldn’t breathe out anymore, squeezing every last morsel of air from our bodies.

 I do my Wim Hof breathing on my back like this. I'm training to be like the iceman using the wim hof method. I'm looking forward to starting the Wim Hof Course when I have ten weeks in one place!

This is my Wim Hof breathing position. photo: pixabay

Repeat 3-4 times:

  • 30-40 deep breaths with short exhales
  • normal exhale on the last
  • hold until you can’t anymore
  • breathe deeply in and hold 10-15 seconds
  • fully exhale, squeeze every last drop of air from the body

It took a good ten minutes.  I felt dizzy at the end of each of my 30-40 breaths in.  I discovered, to my great surprise, that holding was effortless.  I didn’t feel like I needed to breathe at all.  I didn’t have to resist inhaling.  I felt really calm and peaceful.  While holding, I also felt like someone had rubbed menthol inside my skin – this amazing, cool, tingling feeling.

Wim Hof Training & Day Three Results

After our second breathing session, my friend sat us down to watch the 40 minute VICE documentary on Wim Hof.  I immediately understood my friend’s enthusiasm for freezing morning swims in the ocean just out his front door.  I’d been joining him, giggling gleefully at the ridiculousness and also the empowering feeling one gets from such an intense physical experience.

Turns out the Wim Hof method wasn’t just a breathing technique.  There’s a reason Wim Hof is known as ‘The Iceman.’  Cold exposure training is a big piece of how he’s nabbed 26 world records, many for being mostly-naked in the snow climbing mountains or being submerged in ice baths for longer than most toddlers nap.  (Although his feats extend to running a marathon in the desert without water, too.  NBD.)

Wim Hof - the Iceman - shares his wim hof training techniques in a wim hof course that explains how to do with wim hof method over a period of ten weeks

After getting to see Wim Hof in the Vice documentary, my first impression?  Wim Hof is a pretty solid guy.  photo: themindexplorer.net

On day three of Wim Hof breathing, my friend grabbed a stopwatch to time my last hold.  Once I’d finished, he made me guess.  How long could I hold my breath after three days of Wim Hof breathing?  I don’t know.  It felt like… maybe… 45 seconds?  50?  Nope.  A minute and thirty seconds.  In just three days, I could comfortably go for three times longer than the average person can hold their breath.  It sure made me wish I had taken a baseline!

Then Wim Hof Breathing Stopped Working

I’m prone to obsessing over data, so I began timing all my Wim Hof breathing sessions as soon as my friend put the idea in my head.  By day seven, I hit two minutes!  But then my times started dropping.  On day 12, I didn’t get past 1:52.  On day 14, I couldn’t get above 1:06.  On day 16, I didn’t pass 1:25.  Why is my Wim Hof breathing not working all of a sudden?

I started playing with how I was executing my 30-40 breaths.  Previously, when I’d hit two minutes, I was doing something I’d heard a yoga instructor refer to as a three part breath.  I imagined first filling my chest, then lower lungs, then my belly with air.  Maybe I had started breathing too deeply in?  Maybe the three part breath was taking too long and using up the oxygen that was supposed to be saturating my tissues?  Maybe my exhales were too slow?  Maybe I was exhaling too much?  Or not enough?

If you do the Wim Hof training to be like the iceman, you may get confused if the wim hof method stops working for you. This article explains the different techniques I tried when the wim hof breathing method not working for me.

Why is the Wim Hof breathing method suddenly not working for me? (Is it my beard braids? ha!) Maybe I’m doing the 30-40 breaths too slowly? Not breathing out enough? Breathing out too much?

I tried to mimic what my friend had done when he first taught me, sort of a gaping fish-mouth breath in that moved his whole body (he was seated demonstrating, I’ve done most my Wim Hof breathing lying down).  That didn’t make a difference.  Then I watched Wim Hof demonstrate the breathing himself in this video.  Nothing got me back to two minutes.

Then I tried Wim Hof breathing on a flight.  Whoa.  The worst hold times so far!  0:41, 0:36, 0:55.  Yuck!  I tried speeding up my breath cycles, which still didn’t allow me to break 1:30.  Then I went on a camping trip and tried sitting up.   0:46, 0:54, 0:56.  Nope.  I tried laying down.  0:35, 0:45, 0:40, 0:40.  Holy, holy nope.

Hey.  Wait a Minute.

And then I realized something.  I’d started Wim Hof breathing at sea level.  Sure, maybe changes in my breathing technique or adjustments to my environment caused my initial backslide.  E.g. I’d tried breathing on a bed instead of the floor and with music that ended up amping me up instead of calming me down.  But on the flight, I was breathing at 30,000′ a9,000m in a pressurized cabin with who knows what for oxygen levels.  On day 19, I flew to 2730′ b832m and couldn’t get longer than 1:23.  On day 22 I traveled to 4800′ c1500m for a few days and couldn’t break a minute to save my own life.  In fact, I desperately wanted to breathe in just a few seconds after I started each hold.

If the iceman wim hof breathing method isn't working for you, maybe altitude is your problem? The wim hof course in Poland is all about being able to go up in altitude using the wim hof methode. But at the beginning altitude had a big impact on my success with the Wim Hof method.

Hmm… people who do the Wim Hof course in Poland are trained to go up in elevation.  But for this Wim Hof method newbie, altitude seriously affects my hold times!  photo: unsplash

After ten days at 2730′ d832m, I was finally breaking a minute again with the Wim Hof breathing method.  And then I flew to 5,100 feet e1500m.  (Um, I travel a lot.  Oh, how do I afford it?  I thought you’d never ask.  For starters, I get free flights, and you can, too.  The rest is in the FAQs.)  Once I’d doubled my elevation, my hold times plummeted again.  0:33, 0:35, 0:50, 0:53 and 0:45, 0:53, 0:50, 0:30.  I still hadn’t had the elevation revelation, so I tried everything I could think of.  A thin pillow to relieve any pressure on my throat.  Breathing with my legs resting against the wall.  Breathing sitting up with my back against the wall.  Nope.

Then on my 8th day at 5,100 feet, I finally broke 1:15.  Then 1:30 the next day.  Then 1:45 two days after that.  I was on fire!

Like That Time When…

I thought back to my days on the university rowing team.  My school’s elevation was a mere 430′ f131m.  During Christmas break I was sent with a list of workouts to my hometown, more than ten times higher – 4500′ g1400m.  For a month, I trained.  When I returned to school, I was shocked to discover I’d gone from the middle of the girl’s pack during our team runs to the front of the boys pack.

Maybe the iceman has elevated levels of hemoglobin, just like I did long before I did the wim hof method and could run at the head of the pack almost effortlessly.

Maybe this woman is at the head of the pack because she does the Wim Hof method. Or maybe she has elevated hemoglobin from training at altitude. Or maybe she’s just a badass like the Iceman. photo: pixabay

Then I learned about a little thing called hemoglobin.  It’s a red protein responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood.  To keep up at elevation, one’s blood produces more hemoglobin.  Building it up takes a week or two.  When the added elevation challenge drops away (e.g. returning to school), it takes a few weeks for those hemoglobin levels to drop.  It’s the reason people don’t climb Everest in a single day, but rather spend time acclimatizing at a succession of base camps.  It’s the reason that I didn’t stay at the front of the team pack for longer than five or six practices.

It’s seems that my changes in elevation have to do with a majority of my struggles with Wim Hof breathing.  But not all.

Wim Hof Breathing Not Working? Try This.

I do think the different ways I was a breathing had a big impact on my hold times.  Before my elevation challenges, I tried:

  • natural deep mouth-breath in; slightly faster natural mouth-breath out
  • breathing in extra deep through O-shaped mouth; relaxed, fast mouth-breath out
  • deepest-possible nose breath in, relaxed, fast mouth-breath out
  • mouth breath in, focusing on “three parts breath;” letting about half of the air in my lungs out
  • mouth breath in, focusing on “three parts breath;” letting most of the air in my lungs out
  • breathing in as deep but as fast as possible through an O-shaped mouth, fastest breath release possible

The latter is what’s worked best for me to achieve maximum hold times.  Breathing in fast seems slightly more important than breathing in deep, but you need both.  I breathe out until I don’t feel any pressure in my lungs.

In a no-longer-available PDF on the Wim Hof Method, the breathing technique is described as basically “inhaling deeply and exhaling without any use of force.”  Wim is quoted saying:

By not breathing out entirely, you come to a point where a residual of air remains in the lungs. After doing this thirty times, you exhale again without any use of force. This time though, you don’t immediately inhale again, but wait with inhaling until you sense your body needs new oxygen. After this, the whole process starts again.

Now, it’s interesting to note the Wim Hof is well known for training people in just a few weeks to be able to climb a mountain in Poland in just their skivvies and a pair of sneakers.  Presumably the climb involves a serious altitude gain.  So maybe if you do the in-person Wim Hof course, you learn how to supersede the challenges of altitude as well.  Maybe you’re actually learning to influence your own hemoglobin levels?

Why I’m Still Wim Hof Breathing

To paraphrase another part of that (no-longer-available) PDF, breathing is one of the easiest tools we can use to influence processes in our bodies that affect our health.  hThe full quote: “the amount of oxygen that we inhale through our breathing influences the amount of energy that is released into our body cells. On a molecular level, this progresses via various chemical and physiological processes. Breathing is the easiest and most instrumental part of the autonomic nervous system to control and navigate. In fact, the way you breathe strongly affects the chemical and physiological activities in your body.  Wim Hof has been invited into medical laboratories and shown that endotoxins don’t affect him as intensely as others.  More importantly, students who completed Wim Hof training underwent the same procedure with the same results.  The Wim Hof breathing also just feels cool.  I am continually amazed at how peaceful it feels not to breathe during holds.  Plus, Wim Hof breathing is making it way easier to meet my meditation goals.  For awhile I was just counting the breathing session as my mediation for the day, but at the end of a breathing session I’m motivated to tack on an actual meditation session.  #killingit

While the iceman does swim for long distances underwater, no part of the Wim Hof method advocates training in water. In fact, at least three people choosing to do the Wim Hof training in water have passed out and died. Do not do your Wim Hof breathing in water. Please.

You’re not supposed to do Wim Hof training in water. People have died ignoring that advice. But this is how I feel when I do the Wim Hof breathing method and it works. Granted, I’m a water lover, but doesn’t this just look like bliss?!  photo: pixabay

After doing lots of research about the rest of the Wim Hof method, I was sold on cold exposure training, too.  That’s right.  I’m taking cold showers and loving it… just like everyone else singing the praises of the Wim Hof course.

I’ve got a hectic travel schedule for the next several months, so I’m sticking to intro-level Wim Hof until July 2018 when I land in one place for at least ten weeks – the length of the Wim Hof course.  Can’t wait!

Update: I did the course and excitedly shared my results each week.

Salud! ♣

Be sure to check out the comments to read other’s perspectives on how Wim Hof breathing and the Wim Hof method is (or isn’t!) working for them.  Lots of you are reading this – feel free to talk to each other.  What are your Wim Hof struggles and solutions?  Please share!

You might also like: 

How to Live Without a Smartphone
Why Travel Makes it Easier to Be Present
Why a Hard-Working Perfectionist… Doesn’t Want a Job

Why I Drink Kombucha
Fructose vs. Sugar: Why I Don’t Eat Fructose

References   [ + ]

a. 9,000m
b, d. 832m
c, e. 1500m
f. 131m
g. 1400m
h. The full quote: “the amount of oxygen that we inhale through our breathing influences the amount of energy that is released into our body cells. On a molecular level, this progresses via various chemical and physiological processes. Breathing is the easiest and most instrumental part of the autonomic nervous system to control and navigate. In fact, the way you breathe strongly affects the chemical and physiological activities in your body.


  • January 31, 2020 at 2:17 pm

    Hi, This is the third day I practice Wim Hof respiration and cold shower method. I was wondering if anybody else got as sore as me on the upper back where the lungs are?
    I will continue anyways, it feels good!

    • February 2, 2020 at 1:33 am

      I haven’t had that happen… yet! Good luck Wim Hoffing, Esther. Hope that sensation doesn’t stick around!

  • December 9, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Hi Jema,
    Great article thanks for sharing! By any chance, would it be possible for you to send me a copy of that pdf you mentionned? I’d really appreciate it! 🙂
    Best regards, Will

    • December 25, 2019 at 7:50 am

      Hi Will – it was hosted on the Wim Hof site. I used to link to it, but they took it down. If I’d thought about that, I would have taken a copy. C’est la vie. Good luck to you!

  • October 7, 2019 at 1:32 am

    I am wondering, my friend has Pecoma, a very rare and incurable lung cancer. Would the breathing exercise have any beneficial effects on this disease ?

    • October 19, 2019 at 8:50 pm

      Hi Jan, I haven’t studied how this breathing and cancer intersect. Good luck to you in seeking relief for your friend!

  • August 1, 2019 at 9:14 am

    Great article thank you. A simple change that got me from 1.20 to 2.30 straight away was; 20 nose breaths, swap to 10 mouth breaths, then 10 nose breaths to finish off. I found sometimes my muscles started to ache breathing hard and swapping over just changed it a little bit and helped keep focus. Hope it helps somebody as I was starting to get really frustrated with my perceived lack of progress. I know Wim says it doesn’t matter but if you regress it is quite dispiriting!

    • August 1, 2019 at 10:39 pm

      Hi Chris – that sounds like an awesome possibility. I’ll try it! And thanks for sharing here. I could definitely use the help staying focused. When I get on a stint of doing Wim every day, I can really zone out and lose track on the breaths. Cheers!

  • June 23, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    Doing WH for a couple years now off and on. Average time at 1500 feet. 2-3 min. I was reaching four and five minute holds but when the involuntary gasps come, and they will, I would fight them off, I felt like air was getting in. So I covered my nose and mouth once, way more difficult and I gasped. Not sure how to push past three minutes without air getting in.

  • June 17, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Hi, I’ve been doing the wim hof method for almost two months now, and I experience this: when I do it lying down (in the morning, after a 30 min meditation) I have holds between 2’30 and 3 minutes.
    But when I do it sitting (for instance right now, while I’m at work – I’m bored to death -) I usually hold for 1 minute or 1’30.
    It might be because I can fill my belly more when I’m lying down… but as I’m pretty used to diaphragmatic breathing, this should’nt be the case.
    Any idea? In the videos Wim shows both positions as giving the same results.

    • June 18, 2019 at 8:34 pm

      Hi Kasei – thanks for sharing your experience. So much about the Wim Hof method seems to be a mystery. It seems most of the scientific lab work that leads to Western-perspective/logical framework understanding about positives of Wim Hof breathing, etc. has been focused more on results of doing it and less on understanding the mechanisms.

      Sorry I can’t be more helpful. Would love to hear from you if you think you hit upon any explanations in the future. And if you check out some of the other comments here, you’ll see lots of people offering explanations that they’ve experienced or studied.


      • December 7, 2019 at 7:46 am

        Jema, what time of day were those sessions? I’ve had the same issue, but noticed a definite difference at certain times of the day.
        WH says do it on an empty stomach. This would make sense, since many hormones are produced by your stomach, maybe fasting helps too?
        I’m eager to experiment with this, and to hear anyone’s experiences.

        • December 9, 2019 at 4:56 am

          Hi Jonas! Gosh – I do Wim Hof at all times of the day. My plane and mountain times would have been during daylight hours. Most the Wim Hof Breathing that I do now tends to be at night. I’ll have to pay attention in the future to see if it makes a difference at different times of day. I definitely don’t like doing it on a full stomach. When I do it in the morning, I’m fasting. Good luck with your Wim Hof breathing!

  • May 31, 2019 at 8:22 am

    Could it be that after a bout of intensive Wim Hof training the body reduces hemoglobulin levels because it senses that there is more than enough oxygen, now that breathing is deeper than usual? A bit like when you train at high altitude and go for a race in the valley. The advantage that you get on race day disappears after a few days because the body senses that there is more than enough oxygen in the valley and sheds hemoglobulin cells. Wim Hof breathing therefore probably only works in the long run if practiced in cycles.
    For me WH breathing works before high intensity workouts or tabatas I can complete the rounds without effort, whereas otherwise I would be breathing heavily at the end. Also after WH breathingI can add 8KG to my kettlebell swings (in my case from 24 to 32 kg), without losing grip.

    • June 1, 2019 at 1:34 am

      That makes a lot of sense, Will. Maybe! I know I’m always excited to come back to my Wim Hof breathing. I’ve never tried it with HIIT or Tabata stuff – I will now, thanks!

    • June 23, 2019 at 11:04 pm

      I used WM method last summer to train for higher altitude backpacking 10-12k , I’ve had mountain sickness b4 at the level. Light headed, Nausea. I was able to jog around a lake at 10k with a thirty pound pack on. No issues. I couldn’t believe it. I attribute that to Wim’s method.

      • June 27, 2019 at 3:45 am

        That’s awesome! Wow! I should consider that before I go high altitude again. Another commenter here says he does it before his HIIT workouts, and it makes them much easier. Awesome!

    • July 24, 2019 at 8:43 pm

      Hi Will, I have to ask how you do WH breathing before doing KB swings? Do you do several rounds holding the exhale at the end of each swing then hold your breath out while you swing?
      Like the video’s with pushups? I’m on week eight of the online course and also use kettlebells.
      I’m looking for any edge to use for the RKC snatch test.
      Jema, I also noticed my breath out retention losing time but then noticed I seem to do better
      if I am following the video practice. ie., I can keep up with Wim and the others on the video?

      • July 25, 2019 at 5:10 am

        I’ll have to pay attention to my differences with and without the videos! I do like having him counting for me and not having to keep track of how many breaths I’ve done.

  • April 14, 2019 at 7:54 am

    Just tried you’re recommended technique and recorded my worst ever results! I think you just have to find what works for you, I remember first starting and hitting the 2 minute mark, now I can’t get past 90 seconds and just then I couldn’t get past 1 minute!

    Are any of you guys in the UK? I’d love to get to know/meet more people who are practising this, don’t seem to know any nor be able to convince anyone!

    • May 1, 2019 at 11:30 pm

      Hi Liam – thanks for sharing your experience! Yes, Wim definitely says in the Fundamentals training things like, “Just do. Just feel it.” Lots of things that insinuate the experience is pretty personal and unique to each person.

      You can also look to connect with others practicing the Wim Hof method on Facebook. There are lots of Wim Hof groups. Good luck!

  • March 5, 2019 at 3:36 am

    I’ve been working Wim Hof for a few weeks. I’m in good shape, an ex-jock, well experienced with breathwork and meditation. Without knowing anything but the breathing pattern, initially I was holding my breath 4-5 minutes. Then, after I read the details about the process and learned 4-5 minutes was a long time, I suddenly fell back to maxing out at 1:30 min. My theory on myself is the analysis killed the natural process for me. I’m trying to get it back. I’ve been back to just over 3 minutes just recently. The altered state after 2 minutes is a zone I want to explore. Looks like when you get your body in an alkaline state, some cool pathways open up in my body and mind!

    • March 5, 2019 at 8:28 pm

      Hey Mark – thanks for sharing your Wim Hof experience! I have often wondered how much analysis takes energy that might otherwise go to the hold? But I’ve heard (see other comments) that once your body is used to higher oxygen levels (e.g. no longer oxygen deprived) that it’s normal to level out? Very interested in the alkaline state mind pathways! I love doing Wim Hof Breathing before meditation. Happy Wim Hoffing! 🙂

  • February 23, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    You may want to consider the fact that after doing it for many weeks, your body’s oxygen levels are already super high and saturated. Therefore, your body has less crevices and areas where all that oxygen can penetrate.

    That’s why newbies are amazed at their first attempts resulting in 2 and 3+ minute holds. Their cells are pretty much starved of oxygen running on empty. So when they do the method, it floods their system and are able to hold their breath because their body has a use for all that excess oxygen.

    Once your system is primed, it doesn’t need as much.

    I’ve been doing it for 3 years and I always am able to hold it much much longer if I don’t do it for a month but after a few days; then the exact same thing happens – 45-60 seconds.

    • February 24, 2019 at 12:37 am

      Sam – thanks so much for sharing your experience. After hearing from so many people and comparing my experience of doing Wim Hof for two long stretches (can’t wait for the third!), I began to suspect this might be the case. Thanks again for confirming. Happy Wim Hoffing! 🙂

  • February 3, 2019 at 12:50 am

    I tried again this morning. Went back to fast in rather than deep. Your last bullet point. Back to over 2 minutes. Basically I was over thinking it. Trying too hard by breathing in deep. Lesson is. Just do it. Keep it simple like when you start. Great article and thanks so much as I was frustrated. I had also lost the tingling and other benefits. All came back again. Thank you !!!!

    • February 3, 2019 at 5:29 pm

      So glad you’ve gotten it figured out, Julie! Thanks for adding your Wim Hof experience here for everyone! 🙂

    • February 3, 2019 at 5:50 pm

      Oh, also! Just had to laugh at “just do it.” Wim says that so much in the Fundamentals Course! “Just do it. Just GO. Go deep.”

    • February 12, 2019 at 10:06 am

      Hi Julie. I’m from Argentina. I swim since I was 3 years old (27 now). I can hold my breath for long periods of time. I started wim hof breathing 3 months ago, and Im feeling incredible. But for some exotic reason the temperature dropped from 40 to 10 degrees celcius (it’s really crazy for this place). I wanted to know if you can give me some advice about breathing on cold weather. My throat and chest are in a lot of pain because I was running doing the breath and I’m not used to let the cold enter so fast though my nose and mouth. (I feel like a fish out of the water). Saludos!

  • February 2, 2019 at 12:39 am

    I started out going great guns. And got up to 2.27 after only 6 days. I did a 2hr flight during that time period. Then only a few days later after flying again 3.5hrs then another short flight and little sleep, I couldn’t even get to 1 minute. I also hadn’t been training as much that week (CrossFit). Slight improvement this morning after flying back yesterday. I’m wondering if I’ve changed the breathing. I think I’m trying too hard. Breathing in too deep maybe. There was was anxiety going on too so I wonder about that. I travel a lot so I’ll keep seeing how it goes. I’ll keep a record and maybe update over time.

  • January 13, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Hi all,
    On day four today and for some reason I started getting hip and leg pain starting day 2. Also had the rigor Morris fingers day 1 and 2 but not any more. A lot has changed in 4 days all for the positive. Just concerned about the pain?

    • January 13, 2019 at 5:56 pm

      I’ve gotten some really strange pains in my core while Wim Hof-ing. But all were during times where my life had a high degree of stress, so I thought they might have been psychosomatic. Sorry I can’t offer more insight!

    • January 29, 2019 at 12:06 pm

      HI Alia. I’ve only done the Wim Hoff breathing method twice but it does feel familiar as I’ve done a lot of different breathing practises over the last several years. During different breathing practises I would get paralysis in my fingers and hands and abdomen. It felt frightening. I learned it was trauma in the body. After learning that it was normal I felt safe to continue breathing through these muscle cramps and slowly but surely it stopped happening at all. https://www.breathewithjp.com/get-lobster-claws-breathwork/

      • March 14, 2019 at 6:48 pm

        Hey Becky, you may find seeing a biodynaic body therapist will help you to let go of the trapped trauma in the body

  • December 29, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    Hi Jema,
    Great post, I was then lead to your other post “wim-hof-method-fundamentals-review-week-1”, and I was trying to reply to that, but it seems comments are off.
    Just wanted to say that I’m getting the same rigor mortis thing you described. I’m only 2 days into doing this, but both mornings, on either the second or third round, both my hands went into a kind of pincer shape, almost in semi spasm. This happened at around the same time as the all over body vibrations kicked in, I’m not sure if this is normal?
    By the way, when are you supposed to end the timing, is it when you take the breath at the end of the hold – or is it after the recovery breath with the 10 second hold?

    • December 30, 2018 at 7:11 am

      Thanks for letting me know, Kev! I’ll check out comments on those other posts. Glad to hear I’m not the only one who had the rigor mortis (although I didn’t have it in the following weeks. So hopefully it goes away for you!).

      I take stopwatch splits for the breaths, the hold (until I take the breath at the end), the 10 second recovery breath, and the exhale. I think the time is meant to be just for the hold and stop when you take the recovery breath.

      Hope that helps!

      • December 31, 2018 at 5:05 pm

        Thanks Jema :-),
        Re the claw hands thing, I contacted the folks at wimhofmethod.com & they explained that this is caused by vasoconstriction (constriction of blood vessels, a.k.a vasospasm), and I should simply reduce the intensity of the breathing exercise.
        I did more of my own research, and apparently this condition is called “tetany”, which is cause by vasoconstriction, which in turn is caused by “Respiratory alkalosis” – which means, if I understand correctly, an increasing PH level. Apparently this happens at a PH level of 7.45 or higher. In other words, it’s a good sign that it’s working ;-).
        In terms of why some people may experience tetany at a higher PH level while others don’t, from what I read (and again, I may not be understanding it correctly) there can be underlying conditions that would mean alkalosis would be more likely to cause vasoconstriction, one if which is Raynaud’s (narrowing of smaller arteries which supply blood to the skin) which is something I’ve started with in the past couple of years.
        The interesting thing is, I usually get the symptoms of Raynaud’s when it’s cold, it’s fairly cold here in the UK at the moment, and I’ve not experienced the symptoms (what I call “dead man’s fingers”) since I’ve been practicing this method.
        Thanks 🙂

        • January 1, 2019 at 7:39 pm

          Kev! Amazing info. I’m so impressed by your research! The vasoconstriction makes sense as a cause of the feeling. I wonder why increasing PH causes vasoconstriction? I don’t have great circulation either. Not bad, but my feet and bum are almost always cold – even in the heat of summer! Cheers for all the info! Happy new year 🙂

          • March 14, 2019 at 6:53 pm

            Hi Jema, Its likely that your lack of circulation in specific parts of your body is due to trauma held in the body – go see a good biodynamic body therapist to help discover why you have trauma related to those parts of the body

            • March 15, 2019 at 1:03 am

              Thanks for the nudge, Ashley! I’m curious about biodynamic therapy. Cheers!

  • November 15, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    it helped! thanks!

  • September 27, 2018 at 3:19 am

    Liked the post. Very nicely written.
    I ran into the same thing when it came to breath holds. I think I have the answer. The Win Hof produces a strong adrenaline release. As you get more and more practice your body gets the hang of it and gets to the finish line quicker. If you want to hold your breath longer try the method David Blaine explains in his TED talk. It will slow your metabolism way down. On Wim Hof I have reached a 3:10 breath hold. With the relaxing method I reached 4:15.
    It’s all about relaxing

    • September 30, 2018 at 5:43 pm

      Thanks, Ben. I am interested in longer holds, but it’s especially helpful to hear about the adrenaline release. That makes sense. I’m in the mountains of Peru, and my holds have seriously decreased with the reduction in oxygen carrying capacity. Hopefully that will change as I acclimatize!

  • April 26, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    If only the Wim Hof method accessed the semilunar apex of the lung to heart the ration would be much greater in ones mitochondria. As soon as a Wim Hof goes into the mainframe of a cpu, one must be prepared for the MOST gnarly registrar handshake of their life.

  • April 22, 2018 at 1:47 am

    Hey, thanks for the post, I identify myself with your story completely. I used to reach 2:10 minutes with no air, but now I rarely reach 1:30 minutes. I don’t feel the same level of calm and peace that I used to when I was at the peak of my training. I’ll try the last technique you told and I hope to get back where I was! Thank you again.

    • April 23, 2018 at 7:49 am

      Glad you found the info here useful! Happy Wim Hof breathing to you! 🙂

  • February 2, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    could vicinity of the ocean influence the oxygen level so that just breathing near the ocean improves the practice ? i know i always have the best experience each time when i’m near the sea doing pranayam or wim hof breathing.
    maybe it is not just the oxygen but pranic potential in the surrounding that gives us more power.
    I mean, in a closed space room that has the same amount of oxygen as the outdoor space but the difference when doing breathing exercises is stunning, and the process of doing the exercises is definitely more joyful.
    (doing any kind of exercise near the open window even , is not the same as doing them in the open air)

    • February 3, 2018 at 5:54 am

      Hey Mladen! Not sure, but definitely there could be an affect of all the ions created by moving natural forces. I’ve heard this is a thing with waves/waterfalls/storms etc. Thanks for the inspiration to take my Wim Hof outside!

Make A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.