Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Isn't that the truth. I have followed the XPT work (albeit not overly closely) and from what I gather, it definitely keeps the breathing and ice bath integrated, rather than isolated.Many of the WHM principles are incorporated into Laird Hamilton's XPT which seems pretty solid and Laird comes across as less of an eccentric madman.
I have to wonder if any or how much of these breathing resets are effective due to stimulation of the vegus nerve.My background is computational (biophysics), but my work deals with drugs that modulate the immune system, and I have a few things to say about this list. Cold-exposure is a thing that many like, and I'm not knocking it, but a few things on this list are red flags for pseudoscience.
#1: Controlling breath in general is likely to have some effect on blood pH, since breath removes CO2 from the bloodstream, reducing acidity. For most people, this process is autonomically regulated by the brain, so you'd only need to intentionally alkalize your blood if this regulation isn't working. Charitably, the claim is that WHM improves regulation of blood pH, which would only be beneficial to people whose poor regulation is causing some problems. The idea that there are many such people is dubious. Low-level, chronic acidosis is generally regarded as non-symptomatic, whereas if acidosis is actually causing you problems, you should consult a doctor (severe, acute acidosis can put you in a coma very quickly).
#2: "reducing inflammation" vs. "increasing immunity." Inflammation is an immune response. Claims that a particular intervention will reduce inflammation and boost the immune system simultaneously should therefore set off alarm bells whenever you see them. Such contradictory effects suggests cure-all marketing, i.e. smoke and mirrors.
Again, this doesn't mean that Wim Hof has nothing useful to offer; I just want to offer some medical perspective.
Breath of Life: The Respiratory Vagal Stimulation Model of Contemplative ActivityFurthermore, one of these components: breathing techniques, is a prime candidate to explain the complete pattern of results, notably in the stress-related domain. We have further provided a neurophysiological model in which slow respiration and extended exhalation stimulate VN via two possible routes: rVNS. This results in PNS over SNS dominance, structural and functional changes in higher cortical areas through autonomic projections, and is thus responsible for aforementioned effects.
You might google HRV and cold showers. Cold showers are, in many peoples experience, one of the easiest ways to improve HRV quickly. This will aid in you overall athletic recovery and ability to absorb stress. You can also do an N of 1 study. Get a HRV measuring app and a heart rate strap. Do a pre test and post test. See what effect it has on your HRV.Consistency is key, and I really just don't see the long-term potential of putting myself through a deathly uncomfortable cold shower everyday.
I can relate to that. When EliteHRV put me into the sympathetic zone and I did a WHM session (yoga, breathing, cold shower) it kicked me back into the parasympathetic zone. I have observed this a handful of times. No statistical significance of course.You might google HRV and cold showers. Cold showers are, in many peoples experience, one of the easiest ways to improve HRV quickly. This will aid in you overall athletic recovery and ability to absorb stress. You can also do an N of 1 study. Get a HRV measuring app and a heart rate strap. Do a pre test and post test. See what effect it has on your HRV.
I'd say you are spot on 200% about meditation.I've tried regular cold showers, diaphragmatic breathing and meditation.
By far the most important thing I have ever adopted is meditation.
Consistency is key, and I really just don't see the long-term potential of putting myself through a deathly uncomfortable cold shower everyday. Meditation can (and often is) uncomfortable enough - it is not about seeking peace but being present with whatever arises and that is often pain, regret, anxiety, etc.
I think I remember hearing in the Planstrong workshop or some other source that Pavel said that we still don't fully understand the science behind waving volume and intensity. But it just works, so we don't fully need to. The evidence is clear that after linear novice gains, it is the best way forward.Regarding the epistemtic claims- I usually feel it's best not to speculate why something works or doesn't work if the knowledge isn't adequately worked out. The model can be seen as a black box and we can not bother building junk science to explain it as we wait for the real science to catch up.
Put another way, it doesn't matter to me, in essence, of the biological mechanisms of how I get stronger, but we all know lifting heavy things quite regularly, going up more over time, will do the trick. And if I speculate it's the pink muscle fairies it doesn't do anyone any good, but to mislead the ignorant. The biology needs to be sound.
The other thing I wonder here is how much of this WHM is placebo and how much biologically actually effectual. Sometimes placebos are quite effective in a strange mind over matter aspect. I can't tell you why the right song gets my mind in the game, but it does. Yet it's not medicinal so as to speak.
Curious stuff. Following this thread with interest.
I wonder if it is time for StrongFirst to synthesize some of these schools of thought and practices into a very basic breathing approach and practice: Buteyko "light", diaphramic breathing, crocodile exercise, breathing behind the shield, explaining diaphramic breathing, military box breathing, integrating fast and loose with breathing for recovery, hissing, valseva? Wim Hof seems too unique to incorporate and proprietary. There are gems scattered throughout various sources, but it would be good to integrate some of the ideas into a framework and adopt it as one of the pillars of Strongfirst. I get benefits from counting breaths and breathing deeply through the nose as suggested in S&S but between rounds of the heavy bag in Muay Thai. It really helps recovery compared to the panting and hunched over posture of most people in the gym. An article would be a good start. It is clear from this thread that there is a lot of interest and people have already adopted various practices. As people in this thread already know, regulating breathing is a game changer in endurance, power, and recovery in resistance, endurance, and martial arts but few people breath well in the general fitness population nevermind the general population.@Al Ciampa, the articles section of the site seems to work fine for me:
Articles on Buteyko Breathing | Advanced Buteyko Institute - ABI
Give it a try. The experience is definitely worth it no matter if you will stick with the method or not.a bit of a coincidence seeing this thread today,
there is a basic course for his method happening near my place in a couple of weeks. I am thinking of attending to get an idea of the practices
I have a background in martial arts including qigong, interested to see if there are any crossover
You might google HRV and cold showers. Cold showers are, in many peoples experience, one of the easiest ways to improve HRV quickly. This will aid in you overall athletic recovery and ability to absorb stress. You can also do an N of 1 study. Get a HRV measuring app and a heart rate strap. Do a pre test and post test. See what effect it has on your HRV.
Note: HRV is a measure of parasympathetic tone and gives you some sense of your readiness to absorb physical and emotional stress.
These are interesting points. I don't know an awful lot about the Wim Hof method so hearing the benefits is cool. Do you think these cold showers would improve physical performance? I guess this relates to HRV?I'd say you are spot on 200% about meditation.
Cold showers though do not need to be a near death experience. Feeling inside my body when I do them (about 3 years now), I can feel what I assume is all the smooth muscles of my lymphatics and blood vessels contracting to the cold and relaxing in warmth.
Approach cold the same way you would lifting heavy weight i.e. start light and work up!
There's 2 things you can do. 3 really. Always start with hot. I do that for the soap and rinse part then turn it down. From comfortable hot just turn it down enough to feel very cool but not AAAARRRRRRHHHH!!!! Over time, days, weeks, months, to your tolerance, gradually lower the temp. The other thing, which may have its own benefits, is going with contrast showers, alternating hot/cold. Start with 2 minutes of hot, then one of cold, and repeat several times. Each cycle the cold feels less shocking.
What seems to me to be going on is that my body-mind can now contract and relax faster and easier without freaking out. AND though it took until recently, I find the cold to be pleasant in a funny sort of way, sort of slippery smooth in a way that hot is not. Bottom line is, remember to go at your pace and not mine or Wim's or anyone else's. I think cold adaptation is both a physical and also very much a mental training.
This is a consequence of reduced breathing. When you feel the heat while staying relax, you are doing it right.One thing that always amazed me about breath meditation is how much heat is generated - I would have expected it to go down. Sitting in a room cold enough to be uncomfortable and I'd be almost overheating after 20 minutes.
This is a consequence of reduced breathing. When you feel the heat while staying relax, you are doing it right.