Every year, millions of people forgo traditional gyms and push the limits of human endurance by doing boot camp style workouts in seemingly raw conditions. These extreme athletes train in CrossFit boxes, compete in Tough Mudders and challenge themselves in Spartan races.Read more...
Every year, millions of people forgo traditional gyms and push the limits of human endurance by doing boot camp style workouts in seemingly raw conditions. These extreme athletes train in CrossFit boxes, compete in Tough Mudders and challenge themselves in Spartan races. They share a unifying ideology: the comforts of the modern age have made us weak and the key to human power is to recreate the original environmental conditions of our ancestors to regain our lost evolutionary strength.
They believe the human body is connected to its environment so if the environment changes, the body can change. Can our minds, through environmental conditioning, fundamentally hack our bodies for the better? No one exemplifies this movement better than Dutch fitness guru Wim Hof, whose remarkable ability to control his body temperature in extreme cold has sparked a whirlwind of scientific study.
In What Doesn t Kill Us, Scott Carney investigates the fundamental philosophy at the root of this movement in three interlocking narratives. He explores the science of human performance while he examines Hof and the movement s leaders, all while evolving from an ordinary desk guy to an extreme endurance athlete. The book follows Carney's own journey as he pushes his body and mind to the to the edge of human endurance including a record breaking, 28-hour, climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro wearing nothing but a pair of running shorts and sneakers."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-10-03
- Reviewer: Staff
As this engaging autoethnography relates, anthropologist and investigative journalist Carney was skeptical upon encountering a photo of a nearly naked Wim Hof sitting on a glacier in the Arctic Circle. Hof, a Dutch fitness guru who runs a training camp in Polands wilderness, claims he can control his body temperature and immune system solely with his mind; though Carney set out to prove Hof a charlatan, he was instead won over. Carney documents his interactions with Hof and the many others who have learned to control their bodies in seemingly impossible ways: he learned Hofs breathing techniques for tricking the body into doing things it isnt evolutionarily designed for, and underwent training to face extreme cold while barely clothed. It is this training that enables Hof and Carney to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro in 28 hours while wearing shorts. This is part guide and part popular science book; readers will learn about how Neanderthals used the bodys brown fat to keep warm and how exposure nearly reverses the symptoms of diabetes. The accomplishments Carney documents are unbelievable and fascinating; this isnt a how-to for those looking to perform extraordinary feats, but it is an entertaining account that will appeal to the adventurous. 16 pages of b&w photos. Agent: Laura Nolan, Kuhn Projects. (Jan.)