I have to start this off by saying that I am a massive Wim Hof fanboy and have been for years. This being said, I had been putting off the purchase of the full Wim Hof Method video courses.
Well, that all changed about 6 months ago when I took the plunge and dropped £150 on the Wim Hof Classic 10-week course. I threw myself into it head first and loved it.
But I wanted more.
That’s why I reached out to Wim and the team to see if they’d be game on sending me the Fundamentals course to see if it would meet my lofty standards.
Laura, Wim’s daughter, agreed to it and the next day I got cracking.
Who is Wim Hof?
Wim Hof is the main man.
He is a dutch ‘extreme athlete’, yogi, multiple world record holder and all round madman (in the best sense of the word).
Think this sort of thing, then imagine that all the time – and more extreme, and basically you’ve got the life of Wim Hof:
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Be like water, and you become very attentive, at will, to go any place in your own body. That is the power of the mind. The ocean is what we came from and how we evolved. It still is within us. We are like the ocean. We are emotion. Motion is water. Flow. Movement. And we are like the sea. Go with that flow. Don’t be something different than the flow you are. Sometimes more emotional and sometimes less, but always like water – X 📸: @boogert_fotografie . . . #iceman #wimhof #throwbackphoto #spain #canyoning #water #flow #emotions #powerofthemind #wimhofmethod
I won’t drag out this bio because I can’t do him justice, but check out his Wikpedia page if you want to learn more. You’ll be flabbergasted by what this man has done in his life (marathon in the Sahara…with no water, etc, etc, etc.).
What is the Wim Hof Method?
Essentially, the method is stretching, breathing, stretching again and then cold water exposure.
An average bout looks something like this;
- Yoga poses
- 3 rounds of 30 Wim Hof style breaths (Deep inhale, shallow exhale, followed by max effort breath hold on last exhale and 15 second hold on the next inhale)
- More yoga poses with deep breathing
- Cold exposure in the form of cold showers or ice baths
It really is as simple as that. You can see it explained far better by Wim in the video below.
You can also see exactly how to do the breathing exercises correctly in this one:
Wim Hof Fundamentals vs Classic 10-week course
As stated at the beginning, I actually dropped £150 of my own dough on the Classic 10-week course – and was about to pay the £225 for the fundamentals course too before I shot the team a message.
So, what’s the difference? Why is one worth more than the other and do you need both?
The classic course is exactly that – it’s the original. It involves doing the breathing, post-breath stretching and then some yoga poses followed by cold exposure.
The fundamentals course goes deeper. There are more homework tasks, more variety of breath work and different little snippets that help to really perfect your practice, such as isolating your hands to cold water exposure to increase blood flow. This is meant to help battle Raynaud’s disease – something I, and a lot of people (whether known to them or not) actually suffer from.
In short, the fundamentals course offers much more ‘take-home’ value than the classic course. That being said, I have taken lessons from both and applied them to my own variation of the method. This is just my favourite stretches, amount of breath work and length of cold exposure.
Once you have tried the method for a few months, you’ll get a feel for what you like best and can adjust your practice accordingly.
How do the paid courses differ from the free one?
In the full method, each week ramps up the intensity. You’ll do varied rounds of breath work, different styles of yoga and you’ll even get homework activities to take your practice to the next level.
The free method, to my knowledge, is just the breath-work tutorial and cold exposure. The stretching is actually a key component and I certainly felt the difference when I incorporated things like headstands, upward dogs and cat-cows into my practice.
With each paid course, you also get a workbook which allows you to log your breath retentions alongside the weekly videos of Wim guiding the class, a 1-on-1 breathing lesson, stretching how-to’s and your homework video. It’s rather jam-packed…
There’s also an option for a stripped back version if you’re ever in a rush. Perfect for you busybodies.
From week 1, I could feel the changes already taking place.
The one thing I noticed more than anything during my time on the fundamentals course was that my cardiovascular performance was absolutely flying.
I love the gym and lift weights 4 days a week, but I had always neglected my cardio, despite needing strong lungs for when I play football.
Silly boy I know…
But as the weeks passed by, I noticed that my breathing was becoming nice and steady, whereas before it had been quite laboured, even when walking around at a leisurely pace.
I also noticed that my mood improved greatly too. I’m usually a chilled out bloke, but I can get stressed out quite easily. Doing the breathing and the exercises was almost like meditation without having to meditate – if that makes sense?
It also helped curb my road rage which is a nice bonus…
Sleep was another huge improvement. I love sleep, don’t we all? But sometimes I find it really hard to nod off at night. My thoughts usually race around for what seems like forever until I finally drift off. After religiously doing the method for a few weeks, probably around week 5, I noticed I was getting off to sleep much quicker and wasn’t waking up at all in the night.
And finally, since starting on the Fundamentals course, I haven’t been ill once. This has coincided with switching back to a plant-based diet which I fully recommend if you want to really boost the benefits of the program.
Wim himself is a vegetarian, which I believe goes to show that it’s probably the way to go. Don’t take that as gospel though – if you want to crack on with the animal products, feel free. I’m not going to stop you.
But as someone who used to get sick constantly, this has been a godsend, so I won’t be going back.
Is the Wim Hof Fundamentals course worth it?
In my humblest of opinions – yes.
The Wim Hof Fundamentals course takes the regular method and completely pimps it up. This is the method that Wim teaches his in-person students and is what he uses to take them on a walk up mountains in blizzards wearing just their shoes and shorts.
It’s crazy. It’s mad. It goes against everything science has ever said. But it works.
The Iceman has endured study after study, with science finally conceding that he has completely shifted the paradigm of what they thought the human body capable of. There’s a reason he holds 26 Guinness World Records…
If you want amazing health benefits, try out the free method. If you want to change your life, the fundamentals course is the way to go.
I had been practicing the method for about 18 months prior to this review and I can’t tell you how much difference it made to actually sit down every day with a full plan laid out for me.
In short, the Wim Hof Method is an unbelievable tool for wellbeing. The Fundamentals course takes this a step further and takes you to health heights you never thought you could achieve.
I’m not going to say to buy the courses straight away, because I didn’t. But definitely try the free method first and you can see the benefits first hand. When the time is right, you might want to then go and take the plunge.
You can also keep up with me on Instagram too if you fancy getting to know more about yours truly 😉