My first “formal” experience with Wim Hoff breathing was many years ago via a good friend telling me to investigate it. This was before anyone really knew who Wim was in the USA. And I did what everyone does now with anything new, I did the “Dr Google”.
I found a video of some doooooode taking a group of people through Wim Hoff breathing. Dooooode’s name is withheld to protect his innocence.
Dooooode: “Lay down, close your eyes, inhale hard and let go. Inhale all the way in, let go. Keep going. Faster, faster, faster.”
This went on for some time. Ok, breathing technique where you are breathing super-fast. Got it.
Then I heard the following:
Doooooode: “As you are breathing faster and faster, you can feel your body becoming hyper oxygenated. You may feel tingling sensations as you are saturating your body with higher and higher levels of oxygen.”
Doooode just wandered aimless in my world of physiology where it is not going to end well.
Fact, you cannot get “hyper-oxygenated muscles” at sea level by just breathing fast.
That is walking-BS-on-a-stick. During the rapid breathing part, you’re doing the direct opposite of adding more oxygen, you’re actually getting rid of more CO2.
The tingling sensation is an acute lack of oxygen. That’s why it is always a good idea to do it on dry land and lying down – if you pass out, you are already on the ground. Passing out from standing up or even seated will have horrible consequences.
This turned me off to Wim Hoff breathing for a time as I could not get past the inaccuracies in the mechanism. In truth, I should have tried it out sooner even though the explanation was completely bunk.
Now I find the Wim Hoff supra ventilation technique is quite powerful when done correctly and for the right reasons.
Moral of the story: be wary of fancy-pants sounding mechanisms and celebrity status as the only reason to do a specific breathing/recovery technique.
That is why in my Physiologic Flexibility course I give you what you need to know in 3 parts:
1) Big Picture – why target homeostatic regulators? This helps you understand the context on when to apply the 8 specific intervention areas.
2) Technical Primer video – what does the research and data (not Biohacker Bobby47) say about the proposed mechanism? Don’t’ worry, I relay that at an intermediate level so you can understand it
3) 5 Specific Actions – what do you really do with the information? What exactly does it look like? I tell you exactly what to do and how to figure out where to start for yourself or your clients.
The Wim Hoff method (supra ventilation) is one of the many action methods covered in the Full Physiologic Flexibility course.
The course is closed but you can get on the waitlist for the next round when you click here
PS- here is what Dr. Doctor (MD and PhD) Tommy Wood had to say:
“Dr. Mike T. Nelson is one of my go-to guys for applied physiology, which is particularly impressive considering that he always seems to be kiteboarding and must have ears full of blood from his taste in gym music.”