Hey, welcome aboard!Well, I've been doing the Wim Hof method breathing daily (with some exceptions over the festive break), and have been really enjoying it. The first few sessions were semi psychedelic, which was a fun and pleasant surprise, but that seems to have passed now. But the more important thing is that I feel great after doing it, and I'm sure it's doing my body some good. I've done some cold exposure showers, and I like them, but the breathing is more my focus for now.
I want to learn more about the method and what it's doing physiologically. @EverythingsHazy you mentioned reading Wim's new(ish) book, and that it was a good primer and introduction, but it sounded like it didn't go into a lot of depth. Having watched some of Wim's content on youtube, while he's clearly super likeable and a great instructor, I'm not entirely convinced in his understanding and communication of the science - him talking about "alkalinity of the body" for example sounds like a bit of a red flag for pseudoscience to me. From James Nestor's book it's clear this sort of stuff is very much at the cutting edge of science, and there's a lot that isn't known yet. But clearly it works, and works well, for a bunch of things. Any reading recommendations very welcome - I'm not a big fan of relying on youtube for learning.
Also, does anyone here have experience of mixing Wim Hof method stuff with strength workouts? I ask as I saw a short youtube video on Wim's channel where someone does the fast breathing in & out, then rather than relax for 1-1.5 minutes, just launches into pushups with held breath, and allegedly can do double the amount of them in this state. I could imagine doing the final set of a workout routine like this, potentially, to get some extra muscle damage to promote more supercompensation, but I could also easily imagine that doing double the reps you could "normally" do could lead to slower and worse recovery and significantly increase the chances of overtraining. One for cautious experimentation, perhaps...
I do the breathing before martial arts training, sometimes, and I have tried the pushups on an exhale. I don't remember my record but I think it was 81. I'll have to try it again. Lol
The book is great, and yea, I really liked that video. I've watched it several times, now, often while doing the breathing.To partly answer my own questions here, I recently watched the video at the end of @EverythingsHazy's original post here, of a doctor examining some of the physiological effects, and it was really good, I definitely recommend it. That doctor was also friends with Scott Carney, and interviewed him for the video and clearly thought he had a good understanding of the basic biology going on, and he wrote a book (partly) about the Wim Hof method called What Doesn't Kill Us that sounds fun, I may well give that a read next.
In regard to the alkalinity thing, the hyperventilation does cause a transient state of increased alkalinity as well as hypocapnia, but that is changes with the breath hold and with the resumption of normal breathing, after the exercises. It's not easy to change our bodies pH, for an extended period of time. Breathing is one of the ways that we regulate it, so once we resume an automatic breathing pattern, our pH should stabilize relatively quickly. Thankfully so, too. It would be pretty dangerous to remain in a state of hypocapnia, hypoxia, or respiratory alkalosis for a much longer time.
I agree that Wim doesn't necessarily know the exact science behind the method, but he's definitely figured out the "how". I have a good feeling that that's the case with a lot of the more traditional/mystical/etc. methods, like meditation, visualization, lying in the sun, etc..