The Wedge: A Book About the Body’s Potential & the Limits of Human Endurance

In his new book, Scott Carney guides the reader on his globe-spanning investigation into the limits of endurance by exploring the human body’s potential. The Wedge is literally about how people can “wedge” control over automatic psychological responses into the breaking point between stress and biology.

The book cover of Scott Carney's book The Wedge
The Wedge: A Book About the Body’s Potential & the Limits of Human Endurance

More About the Author Before The Wedge

Scott Carney is an investigative journalist, author, and anthropologist. He was the first American journalist to write about Wim Hof, a Dutch athlete — also known as the Iceman — who can withstand freezing temperatures. His work was published in a 2014 article in Playboy.

Close-up of Scott Carney naked in the snow
The Wedge: A Book About the Body’s Potential & the Limits of Human Endurance

Before The Wedge, Carney published three other books: The Red Market, The Enlightenment Trap, and the New York Times bestseller, What Doesn’t Kill Us. In the latter, the author submerged himself in ice water and learned breathing techniques from Wim Hof. This gave Carney superhuman levels of endurance and quite a persistent autoimmune illness.

A Book About No Limits

Scott Carney running underwater while carrying dumbbells
The Wedge: A Book About the Body’s Potential & the Limits of Human Endurance

The core of all the methods Carney learned and implemented in What Doesn’t Kill Us is a technique called “The Wedge.”

In the book, Carney searches the globe for people who understand the subtle language of how the body responds to its environment. The author confronts fear at a neuroscience lab at Stanford and learns about flow states by tossing heavyweights with other participants.

Scott Carney throwing weights
The Wedge: A Book About the Body’s Potential & the Limits of Human Endurance

Carney continues his journey and meets the masters of mental misdirection in Latvia. He searches his mind in sensory deprivation tanks, all the way to the Amazon jungle with a shaman who promises either madness or universal truth.

And the universal truth is:

Apart from “we’re all going to die,” the answer is probably different for each individual. But this is what The Wedge is all about — revealing the evolutionary progress of human beings and putting to test human capabilities in extreme conditions.