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What Doesn't Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength by [Scott Carney, Wim Hof]
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What Doesn't Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews


Climbing a mountain in nothing but a pair of shorts seems idiotic tomost, but for Wim Hof and his companions, it's just another day. Wheninvestigative journalist and anthropologist Carney heard about Hof'smind-boggling methods and claims that he could "hack" the human body, he knew he had to venture to Poland to expose this fraud. But in just afew days, Hof changed Carney's mind, and so began a friendship and a new adventure. Carney now chronicles his journey to push himself mentallyand physically using Wim Hof's method of cold exposure, breath-holding,and meditation to tap into our primal selves. Our ancestors survivedharsh conditions without modern technology, while we live in comfortable bubbles with little to struggle against and wonder how they survived.The question is, What happens when we push our bodies to the limit? Carney calls on evolutionary biology and other modern scientificdisciplines to explore and explain Hof's unconventional methods. Freshand exciting, this book has wide appeal for readers interested inhealth, sports, self-improvement, and extreme challenges.

As this engaging autoethnography relates, anthropologist and investigative journalist Carney was skeptical upon encountering a photo of a nearlynaked Wim Hof sitting on a glacier in the Arctic Circle. Hof, a Dutchfitness guru who runs a training camp in Poland's wilderness, claims hecan control his body temperature and immune system solely with his mind; though Carney set out to prove Hof a charlatan, he was instead wonover. Carney documents his interactions with Hof and the many others who have learned to control their bodies in seemingly impossible ways: helearned Hof's breathing techniques for tricking the body into doingthings it isn't evolutionarily designed for, and underwent training toface extreme cold while barely clothed. It is this training that enables Hof and Carney to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro in 28 hours while wearingshorts. This is part guide and part popular science book; readers willlearn about how Neanderthals used the body's "brown fat" to keep warmand how exposure nearly reverses the symptoms of diabetes. Theaccomplishments Carney documents are unbelievable and fascinating; thisisn't a how-to for those looking to perform extraordinary feats, but itis an entertaining account that will appeal to the adventurous.
Publishers Weekly

On the heels of the paleo diet comes a new claim: taking on the physicalchallenges of the environment faced by our prehistoric ancestors canundo what easy calories and effortless comfort have done to ourbodies―made them fat, lazy, and weak.
In his latest book,investigative journalist and anthropologist Carney (A Death on DiamondMountain: A True Story of Obsession, Madness, and the Path toEnlightenment, 2015, etc.) expands on his 2014 Playboy piece, "TheIceman Cometh," in which he profiled Dutch fitness guru Wim Hof andexperienced Hof's strenuous training methods, some of which involveexposing the near-naked body to snow and icy water. At first skeptical,Carney became convinced by the changes he experienced in his own body.The narrative is filled with personal details that will engage,astonish, and even repel readers. Expanding on his unnerving close-upaccount, the author also examines the research being done on the role of brown adipose tissue in the body and a variety of military and sportsmedicine training practices. He cites the anecdotal evidence of peoplewho have placed their faith in Hof and are convinced that his techniques have changed, if not saved, their lives―e.g., sufferers of Parkinson'sdisease, Crohn's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. As a climax to hisaccount, Carney describes how, stripped to the waist, he accompanied Hof on a climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak.In the epilogue, the author asserts that his experiences showed him that "exposure to cold helps reconfigure the cardiovascular system, combatautoimmune malfunctions, and is a pretty darned good method to simplylose weight." Hof provides the book's foreword.
Couch potatoestake warning: the experiences described in this testimonial are oftentough to read about, and the conclusions, while sometimes convincing,might best be taken with a touch of skepticism.

"Scott Carney is so curious about getting to the truth of things that he iswilling to endure great pain and suffering to get there. Whileinvestigating the controversial methods of Wim Hof and others operatingon the scientific fringe, Carney entered a skeptic yet emerged a truebeliever. In What Doesn't Kill Us, readers get to follow himalong on his transformational journey, and the insights are trulyfascinating. Informative, fun, and with a healthy degree of danger, this is a book for the adventurer in all of us."
―Gabrielle Reece, co-founder, XPT (Extreme Performance Training)

"The further we get from the harsh environmental conditions that oncethreatened our existence, the more we need them. I see this everyweekend at a Spartan Race somewhere in the world. Millions of otherwisesane people line up to suffer and push themselves to their physicallimits, and it feels good. What Doesn't Kill Us is a fascinatinginvestigation into the innate urge that drives people like these, andreveals how some have managed to use environmental conditioning toaccomplish truly extraordinary things."
―Joe DeSena, founder, Spartan Race

"As a Navy SEAL, you live by the mantra, 'what doesn't kill us only makesus stronger.' We would hear this phrase and repeat it, but we never hadany proof that it was factual. Yet through comprehensive study, ScottCarney has brilliantly documented how engaging in environmentalconditioning, breathing, meditation, and other techniques can actuallymake us physically and mentally stronger. What Doesn't Kill Us is a fascinating book that will captivate all who read it and that will be of immense value to those in the military, those who are active insports, and those who seek an alternate means of developing greatermental and physical strength."
―Don D. Mann, New York Times bestselling author, Inside SEAL Team SIX

"Damn fun and extremely well-researched, What Doesn't Kill Us is a great addition to the canon of high performance literature!"
Steven Kotler, New York Times bestselling author of Abundance and The Rise of Superman

"When it's cold outside, do you turn the heating up? Do you always put a coat on before going out? Do you think your comfortable life is good foryou? If so, you have to read Scott Carney's What Doesn't Kill Us. Through some great stories ― which often involve Carney trudgingthrough snow without much on ― and some serious research, he shows ushow to escape the bland, shuffling gait of our centrally-heated,fleece-jacketed, molly-coddled lives by diving head-first into theice-cold, axe-sharp, scary experiences that made our ancestors' heartsbeat faster every day. If we do that, we can awaken from the dullslumber of modern life and open our eyes to a better, healthier dawn ofcrisp air, better circulation, and the ability to truly mean it when wesay: I'm alive. Buy this book, and you'll emerge a stronger, healthier, more human human."
James Wallman, author of Stuffocation

About the Author

Scott Carney is an investigative journalist and anthropologist whose stories blend narrative non-fiction with ethnography. His reporting has taken him to some of the most dangerous and unlikely corners of the world. The New York Times says "Carney writes with considerable narrative verve, slamming home the misery of what he has witnessed with passion and visceral detail." He has been a contributing editor at Wired and his work also appears in Mother Jones, Foreign Policy, Playboy, Details, Discover, Outside, and Fast Company. He lives in Denver, CO. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • File Size : 17744 KB
  • Publisher : Rodale Books (January 3, 2017)
  • Publication Date : January 3, 2017
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print Length : 290 pages
  • Language: : English
  • Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 767 ratings