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What Doesn't Kill Us

How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength
Narrated by: Scott Carney
Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3,203 ratings)
Regular price: $19.95
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Publisher's Summary

What Doesn't Kill Us, a New York Times best seller, traces our evolutionary journey back to a time when survival depended on how well we adapted to the environment around us.

Our ancestors crossed deserts, mountains, and oceans without even a whisper of what anyone today might consider modern technology. Those feats of endurance now seem impossible in an age where we take comfort for granted. But what if we could regain some of our lost evolutionary strength by simulating the environmental conditions of our forbears?

Investigative journalist and anthropologist Scott Carney takes up the challenge to find out: Can we hack our bodies and use the environment to stimulate our inner biology? Helping him in his search for the answers is Dutch fitness guru Wim Hof, whose ability to control his body temperature in extreme cold has sparked a whirlwind of scientific study. Carney also enlists input from an army scientist, a world-famous surfer, the founders of an obstacle course race movement, and ordinary people who have documented how they have cured autoimmune diseases, lost weight, and reversed diabetes. In the process he chronicles his own transformational journey as he pushes his body and mind to the edge of endurance, a quest that culminates in a record-bending 28-hour climb to the snowy peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro wearing nothing but a pair of running shorts and sneakers.

An ambitious blend of investigative reporting and participatory journalism, What Doesn't Kill Us explores the true connection between the mind and the body and reveals the science that allows us to push past our perceived limitations.

©2017 Scott Carney (P)2017 Scott Carney

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Awesome book

What did you love best about What Doesn't Kill Us?

I'd heard of Wim Hof already however, I realized that Scott Carney used Hoff as an anchoring idea to then launch off in a number of different directions around the idea of tempering your body/mind to endure discomfort.

What was one of the most memorable moments of What Doesn't Kill Us?

The trek up Kilmanjaro was a very memorable chapter. I won't spoil the story but suffice it to say it was a very human moment to realize that even 'hero's' have ego's and are prone to being self centered.

Have you listened to any of Scott Carney’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No but it has made me intensely interested in learning more. I appreciated the fact that Scott showed that a regular guy can put these ideas and techniques to use and have some significant benefit.

Any additional comments?

There are a host of podcast episodes out there on Wim Hof, Brian Mackenzie, and Laird Hamilton among others. More than enough fodder for someone interested in learning more.

36 of 39 people found this review helpful

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Entertaining and Inspiring

Loved this

Listened to the whole thing in 3 days of house painting. Scott connects the dots between methods taught by Wim Hoff and some of the most inspiring athletes and teachers in the health and fitness space. He brings his humble character to make this incredible journey accessible to the rest of us mortals and dispels his own healthy scepticism.

it is an intelligent exploration into reclaiming the innate capacity within an ordinary human that put his life on the line.

Thank You Scott.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Weak science with narrative

This story is supported by weak evidence and essentially is a narrative of the authors journey to changing his physiology and him climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Here is the jest of the book: breathing more elevates your oxygen saturation, exposure to cold burns more kilocalories and provokes your body to create more mitochondria.

59 of 71 people found this review helpful

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Inspirational!!

The structure of the storyline of this book made the point of how beneficial mastery of specific physical and mental techniques are to achieve a robust physical capacity without a major time commitment. I am convinced and perhaps seduced. Well done

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Good listen

New to the theme? then your in for a treat.

If you are fully aware of WIM HOF, and coldwater treatment etc.. then this wil be slightly boring, especially the last 5 chapters. theres some cool history in here, talking about different wars, and how climatization were a critical factor.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Excellent book!

I really enjoyed the book and clarity at which the author read it. This book was the validation that I was looking for after reading and listening to many sources on cold exposure and focused breathing. I had an expectation based on listening to an interview with the author before purchasing. My expectations were exceeded with the product. Well done.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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correlation is not causation

I checked out this book Because of its introduction to Colf therapy for personal development: physically, mentally, emotionally, and as an immune suppressant or autoimmune conditions. It is an excellent introduction to those things along with an ongoing narrative. It is based on evolutionary theory which I'm willing to listen to and consider Arguments for but give me good science and don't talk about science that you don't really understand. I do teach biology and some Liberties were taken in connecting biological processes to assumed evolutionary origins of those processes. In addition, I was not interested in the authors connection to Evolution and global climate change. That's not what this book was about. I can buy and read books about that. Stay on topic. Because two things appear to be happening at the same time does not mean one caused the other, correlation is not necessarily causation. It is false logic to assume that because things are happening at the same time that one must have caused the other. Provide evidence if you're going to make that assertion rather than assuming I'm going to agree with that conclusion. The author introduces us to several good programs related to cold Therapy and Fitness in general. I'll probably listen to it again because I now own it on audio. But, the topic wondering does not rate the full five stars.

105 of 132 people found this review helpful

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Amazing and it works!

Great book. Great method. I've started cold therapy and breathing meditation and without hesitation can confirm that something is definitely at work. I feel more alert, have lost weight, and have increased work capacity. I'll be listening again and recommending this book and Wim Hof method to anyone that will listen.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Very good report on the Wim Hof method

How to hack you body, its all there. All that is left is to find some cold water to practice the method yourself.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great Listen. inspiring

Loved the book. Very inspiring and introduced the listener too many new possibilities. Highly recommended for anybody on a quest of self improvement

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • BMP
  • 04-22-17

10% interesting 90% padding

didn't really glean anything from this. the VICE video on Wim Hof online gives you everything you need to know. this book is filled with unnecessary filler to bulk it out into a book.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Jens
  • 01-24-17

Great story meets self development

Wonderful hole hearted story about Scott's journey with Wim Hof's method, endurance trials, meetings and experiments with world class athletes. Scott also knows his physiological science. I just loved the detailed descriptions of events and the personalities. Wish there was more chapters. Don't buy if you are in a hurry just to learn the methods. Must be enjoyed like chocolate - slowly. This is one of my favorite self growth books ever.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-15-19

Good info but overwritten

Mostly brilliant information, particularly physiologically, but slightly over-written. Perhaps easier to follow without so many unnecessary descriptions of people/places/situations.

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  • Pad de Braye
  • 02-09-19

A fabulous mix of research and adventure

A fabulous mix of research and adventure into the limits of human endurance using simple, powerful and generally uncomfortable exercise regimes.

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  • jonnywildboar
  • 01-31-19

Enjoyable

If you have an interest in the wim hof method , or just passing curiosity , then this is a great audiobook to buy !!

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  • pehd
  • 01-22-19

Just great

Great insight into the iceman and how the cold can change lives with facts and research to back it up.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-17-19

Great listen

I bought the kindle version but upgraded to audiable. Very good listen. A great insight into Wim Hof, his method & pushing yourself to the very edge. Will listen again for sure. Thanks

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  • Jill M.
  • 01-10-19

Life changing!

Wonderful that this was narrated by the author. Gripping and inspiring. Listened in two straight days and am just about to listen again. Have started the breathing and cold showers and am fighting my cold phobia, think I will win. If you want to truly understand Wim Hof and humanity’s need to return to nature listen to this! Thanks Scott!

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  • Mr P A Fisher
  • 01-09-19

Very interesting read/listen

Much of the book is about the Wim Hof method and Scott's experience with meeting and training with him personally. I really like books which are read by the author, it adds a level of authenticity which is hard to replicate. This book did not disspoint.

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  • Shawn Cooper
  • 12-21-18

A little too self-focused to be truly useful

I have recently discovered Wim Hof and think what he teaches is incredibly interesting and can no doubt be life changing. With the author’s pedigree and the tag line of this book I thought would mean quite a subjective and wide-ranging look at the science behind this ‘method’ and way of thinking about breathing/cold exposure/meditation. Whilst I very much enjoyed the book, the author I think fell victim to his own sense of importance in the equation with the effect that many times in the book it felt like he was trying to aggrandize himself to perhaps share in some of Wim Hof’s fame. Do I really care that Orlando Bloom was training in a pool with other celebrities - absolutely not - who cares he is nobody special. Its like telling a story where you start by giving the nationalities or religious persuasion of the people involved when it has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the story.
I wish there had been more real accounts from practionners of the method, with their high and low stories which would then help the reader to be able to form a more well-rounded opinion.
That said it was certainly worth the read and was very enjoyable overall.

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  • Antony
  • 04-18-17

Hyperventilating? Or cellular hypoxia

Good book. Good story but a few points wrong.
I am a freediving instructor. How to breathe properly is very important.
Saying you get high on oxygen is rubbish.. I have breathed pure o2 and hardly noticed it.
The reason you get dizzy is because you are experiencing cellular hypoxia. That is why you can pass out while sitting there hyperventilating. You are actually unable to access the o2 in your body.
Check the Bohr effect.
You loose your true ability to survive underwater holding your breath. You can definitely go longer by normal tidal breathing ... but only if you are truly mentally tough.
You did inspire me to do more but I will do it by breathing properly.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Keanu
  • 05-13-17

So much fun

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would absolutely recommend this to a friend. This book offers a great mix between story telling, and being educational. At times it can seem a little repetitive but I think this is a good thing in this instance.

What did you like best about this story?

The struggle of humanity

Which scene did you most enjoy?

He rubbed ice himself, with steam erupting off of his body.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I have listened to it in one sitting, and repeatedly since.

Any additional comments?

If you close your eyes, you can almost convince yourself the book is being read to you by Ryan Reynolds, which is kinda fun.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Adam S.
  • 05-31-18

Amazing

Absolutely loved it! The concept makes so much sense. It has changed my life and the way I perceive comfort and the cold. I will be recommending this to everyone.
The way Scott delivers it as well keeps you enthralled and wanting more.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-15-18

Talking about this with everyone I know!

Really enjoyed the analytical and investigative perspective of this book. To look at this from all sides made it so much more interesting and has opened up for amazing discussions. Biggest take away is about why its so important to move away from comfort. I would recommend this book!

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  • Troy Sexton
  • 01-29-18

Thoroughly thought provoking

A thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking read. Excellent narration and well written book on one mans journey to get out of his comfort zone and discover his inner strength against the environment but more importantly against his own doubts of humans adaptability and strength. Recommend to anyone on path of self discovery and remember...just breathe!

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  • JJ
  • 01-24-18

Brilliant!

One of the best books I've ever read, inspired me to study the Wim Hof Method, currently im on week 3 of the 10 week programme and feel great for it. Cheers Scott, will definately read some of your other work.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-08-18

Great audio book

Book was easy to listen too and is a good one for this type of format. Loved the story and have taken up the cold showers.

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  • Lincoln
  • 10-29-17

Inspirational

Great listen, awesome to hear the story of 1 very strong man and many other strong people.

Let's get cold.

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  • Rev. David B. Smith
  • 10-07-17

Brilliant!

Finally, someone who can articulate the breakthroughs achieved by Wim Hof better than the man himself.

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  • Simon
  • 09-25-17

This was inspirational

Really well written. Inspiring. Very important work. Life changing. Highly recommended reading. Will be investigating further.