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Becoming the Iceman by Brooke Robinson,Wim Hof

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Becoming the Iceman is a project inspired by Wim and Justin to show the world that anyone can adopt the ability to become an Iceman or Icewoman. The project's goal is to show that the ability to control the body's temperature is not a genetic defect in Wim, but an ability that can be adopted by everyone. For many generations, we have been taught to fear the cold:"Don't forget your jacket! You don't want hypothermia, do you?""Put your gloves on before you get frostbite!"Of course, these are consequences of extreme cold exposure, but with the proper understanding, anyone can learn to use the cold as a natural teacher.You may have seen Wim Hof on television running barefoot through the snow or swimming in ice-cold waters. While performing those incredible feats, Wim remained completely warm and comfortable the entire time! Wim is the epitome of what can happen if someone uses the cold to train the body. Like any new tool, you must understand how it works before you can use it efficiently. This pertains to the cold as well. You may be wondering, "How can you prove that anyone can learn this ability?Well, as of Fall 2009, Justin Rosales had no experience with the cold whatsoever. He was a college student attending Penn State University. After Justin's friend, Jarrett, showed him one of Wim's videos on You-Tube, he became exceedingly interested in understanding this ability. He wanted to see if it was possible for anyone to learn. In Spring 2010, after speaking to Wim for several months via email, Wim invited Justin to attend his workshop in Poland. After many weeks of working as a dishwasher, Justin was able to pay for the trip and learn the technique of the Iceman.With more training and countless experiences with the cold, Justin began to slowly adapt. The length of time he could remain exposed increased dramatically. He quickly realized that the technique to withstand the cold was, indeed, an ability that could be learned by everyone. This book tells the tale of Wim and Justin's journey to Becoming the Iceman!

Reviews (7)
FYI, If you're interested in reading this book & are considering Wim Hof's online course, it's currently included with his course as a PDF.

I initially gave the book a 1-star review, but I later upgraded my review to 3 stars to reflect the useful content in the book.

First, 3 suggestions to readers, then the specific criticisms of my review:
1. Compare other books on the subject. When I purchased this book, it was the only one available on the Wim Hof Method, and I found it lacking in readability. I can't comment on other books, as this is the only one I've read on Wim's methods. Info from online sources didn't come anywhere close to matching the depth of what I found in the book.

2. If you get the book and manuscript quality is important to you, keep in mind reviewers' criticisms of weak points. If I'd known those ahead of time, perhaps I wouldn't have gotten so frustrated from assuming the book would be of at least average editorial quality and then finding it came nowhere close to that. The book's terrible editing annoyed me so much that I tossed it in a donation box long before finishing it. Still interested in finding out more about Wim's methods before shelling out for the online course, though, I eventually retrieved and finished the book.

3. If you find the book difficult to get through, consider reading Wim's chapters first and then going back through Justin's. I found it much less frustrating when I switched to this method, because the information flowed more logically.

Specific criticisms:
This book scores very low for readability and usability. It sorely lacks ease of referencing specific material due to the lack of both an index and table of contents. It also scores poorly in clarity of writing and logical sequencing of information. The book's useful background & technical information is buried in a morass of poor organization, utterly trivial and irrelevant detail (especially in author/editor Justin Rosales' sections), and frequent errors.

The book contains some excellent information. The authors come across as open-hearted, enthusiastic, conscientious, and deeply devoted to sharing their subject matter. If they ever spring for a real editor to clean up the manuscript and reissue it with an index and/or a table of contents at minimum, the book could be a fine showcase for Wim's methods and both authors.
I thought long and hard about how to handle this review. I am a fan of Wim Hof and I marvel at his accomplishments. Even more, I really prize the value of his thinking on how his feats relate to the mental aspects of physical performance. Mental performance is a growth area in sports performance and Wim shows there are clearly a number of ways to approach the subject.

Before I had even heard of Wim, I read up on cold exposure to inform my approaches to workout recovery and for cold water habituation for open water swimming. I have been interested in Russian Special Forces "cruelty training" for soldiers and cold water "tempering" for wrestlers and Olympic weightlifters. I've kept a 100 gallon tank in my back yard for my own use and frequently make use of the Russian Banya in my city. So finding Wim, watching everything online covering him and his achievements has been fun and gratifying.

So imagine my disappointment when I picked up the book, at my cost, and found it to be complete amateur hour. Before one even gets to the content, it's impossible not to notice that the book is an editorial nightmare. There are factual and typographic mistakes on every page. The narrative is anecdotal, first person, and displays a randomness that sometimes reads like a high school kid trying trying to stretch one page of ideas to meet a 10 page paper requirement. There's no arc or connection between paragraphs of the narrative that should be a fundamental element of any non-fiction work.

It turns out that the book is edited by Wim's co-author, Justin Rosales, an undergraduate student at Penn State, and Justin's girlfriend. Their qualifications for this task appear to be nothing more than their acquired friendship with Wim. In addition to the lack of quality editorial, the content suffers from overall lack of rigor and information. Justin and Wim trade off chapter for chapter for no apparent reason, and the thinking within and amongst the chapters is arbitrary and grows increasingly annoying and boring, especially in Justin's chapters, as the book progresses.

For example, Rosales spends one chapter describing his first trip to California to gain exposure to Tummo, the Tibetan meditation form than comprises part of Wim's approach to cold exposure. The chapter is filled with myriad weird (and as it turns out, absolutely unimportant) details about the trip such as his decision to forgo a dinner at a Popeye's fried chicken franchise. Wha?

When he finally gets down to describing his experience at the Tummo seminar, the details are absent except what feels like a forced explanation that he couldn't stomach the religious aspects of Tibetan Buddhism that underlay the practice of Tummo. Um yeah, and there are folks that bug out on the "religious" aspects of yoga too. But why? He never explains and as it turns out, again, this has no bearing on anything else in the book. It's just story telling about nothing.

The best part of the book is the last 10 or so pages when the authors finally provide something reasonably approximating a method for "becoming" like Wim and experiencing cold exposure in all of it glory. It's still a weak narrative, there's nothing presented on the science that 's been conducted on cold exposure and habituation, or on Wim's own exploits.

In summary, this book is the perfect follow-up to Wim's TED Talk appearance. In that TED talk, Wim speaks to the audience about his accomplishments and a little bit about the research conducted on him directly. Then he climbs into an upright tank that is filled with snow as he is interviewed by the TED presenter. When the talk is done, nobody on stage could figure out how to get Wim out of the tank as they had clearly not worked out those details ahead of time, figuring that wowing the crowd would be sufficient. Amateur hour.
This book is not what I thought it would be at all. It is far more related to Justin Rosales' experiences than any sort of in depth description of Wim Hof or his methods. After reading Scott Carney's book "What Doesn't Kill Us" I was starving for more information about Wim and this book was a huge let down. I couldn't get past the simplistic writing and Justin's personal stories. Not worth the time.
Poorly written but an interesting topic. Justin Rosales I know was trying to do justice to an very fascinating topic but Justin just isn't a writer. Wim Hof should have had a real ghost writer do this. Wim is a great teacher. His videos are great.
Great book for the price. It does contain the Wim Hof method, but you have to read between the lines and really want to know in the first place. Justin Rosales, the author tells his own story of how he learned to gradually take more and more cold exposer and communicated with Wim to gain the knowledge. It doesn't go in much detail about the breathing and science behind the method. Justin also puts accounts of Wims stories in there and doesn't come out and tell you if it is Wims story or Justin's story so you have to figure it out. In a nut shell, don't just go and jump in ice water or run in the snow without training, you could permanently damage your body. Start small and in a controlled environment so you can stop at any time you start to get the shakes or your core temperature starts to drop. Breath deep and forcefully on the inhale, just relax on the exhale, remain calm and focused, don't gasp, shake or shiver, breath slow and at a normal rate, know that your body will react and fight the force of the cold and gradually expose yourself in the shower to full cold spray for longer and longer periods. As soon as you start to shiver and shake, it is time to stop.

ISBN: 1937600467

Rating: 4.6/5

Votes: 281

Other Formats: doc docx txt azw

ISBN13: 978-1937600464

Publisher: Mill City Press, Inc. (November 22, 2011)

Language: English

Subcategory: Motivational

Pages: 326

Becoming the Iceman
Author: Brooke Robinson,Wim Hof
Title: Becoming the Iceman