Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof: Sheffield's Mr and Mrs Ice Bath teach methods of sub-zero TV star challenges

A Sheffield couple are teaching a method featured in a new TV series where eight celebrities take on a series of extreme cold challenges.

By Julia Armstrong
Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 10:05 am
Mr and Mrs Ice Bath - Radek Kalaš and Charlotte Wrigley, centre - are Wim Hof Instructors from Sheffield. The method they teach is featured on a new BBC TV series, Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof
Mr and Mrs Ice Bath - Radek Kalaš and Charlotte Wrigley, centre - are Wim Hof Instructors from Sheffield. The method they teach is featured on a new BBC TV series, Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof

Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof starts on Tuesday (April 12) at 9pm on BBC One. Hosts Holly Willoughby and Lee Mack follow eight celebrities, including Dianne Buswell, Gabby Logan, Professor Green and Patrice Evra, as they are led by Wim Hof, known as The Iceman, through a series of challenges in sub-zero conditions in the Italian mountains.

Radek Kalaš and Charlotte Wrigley – known as Mr and Mrs Ice Bath – are Wim Hof Method instructors from Sheffield.

They have been practising the method together for around two years, since discovering it during lockdown.

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They spent eight months training to become instructors, including a final course in the Polish mountains, sitting in freezing rivers and hiking in swimwear through the snow.

They are based in Meersbrook Works, on Valley Road, and are now delivering their own Wim Hof workshops and classes in Sheffield.

Charlotte said: “The Wim Hof method is an easy, natural way to improve your overall mental, physical and emotional health.

“Some of the many benefits are improved immunity, reduced inflammation, better sleep, lowered levels of stress and anxiety, improved blood circulation and reduced symptoms of depression, fatigue and chronic pain.

Mr and Mrs Ice Bath - Radek Kalaš and Charlotte Wrigley from Sheffield - with their mentor, extreme athlete Wim Hof, who stars in a new BBC TV series, Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof

“The method also gives us more energy, improved focus and concentration and it puts us in a better mood.”

‘I was constantly living in a heightened state of stress’

She added: “Interestingly, most people think being exposed to the cold will make them ill, whereas actually, in short doses, it can help to boost your immunity and make you stronger.

“In this way the cold acts as a hormetic stressor, whereby the body learns to cope, adapt and come back stronger as a result.”

She added: “We found the Wim Hof Method as a way to take our minds off what was going on in the world during lockdown.

“It helped to change our mindset completely and allowed us to focus on being more positive despite being surrounded by so much negativity due to the pandemic.

“For me personally, after losing all my work overnight when lockdown hit, not only did practising the method give me the confidence to start doing something new (and set up my own online teaching company), but it was a tool I used to control any anxiety or stress I felt.

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“After working as a languages teacher in local secondary schools for over 15 years, I had built up ‘quite a bit’ of tension! I didn’t realise it at the time but I was constantly living in a heightened state of stress with no real way to relieve it.

“For me, so called ‘stress relief’ was through exercise but then I realised doing that too much exercise was causing additional stress on my body - both physically and mentally.

“The method has taught me how to finally relax, let go and feel more carefree. I don’t think I’ve felt like that since I was a child!”

Radek, who says the method has helped him with asthma and allergies, explained how people can get going with Wim Hof.

“It’s easy to start with just a cold shower. Gradual exposure to the cold is important. You don’t want to be jumping into a frozen lake with no build-up to it,” he said.

How can you try the Wim Hof Method?

“There is a handy cold shower challenge timer on the Wim Hof App which you can download. This helps you to gradually increase the amount of time that you spend in the cold and after a few weeks’ practice, you will be ready for your first ice bath!

“We also coach people on how to do it safely during our Fundamentals Workshops. For a lot of people, the Wim Hof Workshop will be their first encounter with an ice bath and so far, with us, every participant has had an amazing experience.

“We also offer breathing classes for people who want a bit more guidance to those sessions but again it’s something you can start doing at home on your own.

“The app can help to guide you or you can check out one of the many guided videos on YouTube that Wim has made himself. Just search Wim Hof guided breathing.

“The main thing is that you always practise in a safe environment and you listen to your body. As Wim often says, “No force!”.

You shouldn’t be forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do as, if so, the method won’t work.

“But by trusting in the method, allowing your mind and body to embrace it, and committing to regular practice, you should soon see the benefits for yourself,” said Radek.

To find out about Charlotte and Radek’s workshops and classes, visit: www.wimhofmethod.com/activities/trainer/charlie-wrigley

Discover more at www.wimhofmethod.com