“I took double anaesthetic”

Name: Henrik Forsberg.
Does: Head of Sport at the Swedish Swimming Federation and jogger.
Research participation: Has participated in the study on how muscles affected by prolonged exercise

Henrik Forsberg has participated in a study on how muscles are affected by continous training. Photo: Lindsten och Nilsson

As told to Maja Lundbäck, first published in the magazine Medicinsk Vetenskap, no 2, 2017.

“My girl-friend saw an ad on social media where they were looking for people who exercised and people who did not for a study on muscles’ characteristics. After I had contacted the lead researcher, I did an oxygen uptake test and was put in the stamina group.

The oxygen uptake test was just for screening; when the test began, I first had to do an MRI of my entire body – nothing special about that – and then had to do a muscle biopsy. They inserted a needle in my thigh muscle, three times in each leg. Because I am a bit sensitive I asked for double anaesthetic, but it still felt like someone had thumped and ripped something out of my leg. I limped a bit the day after but the pain wasn’t really any worse than muscle tenderness.

I haven’t been told the results yet but I’m curious to know what kind of muscle fibres I have. Nowadays I’m Head of Sport at the Swedish Swimming Federation and jog in my free time. I used to be a swimming instructor and that’s why I’m interested in what elite athletes can do to improve their performance. Research related to sport interests me and I often read new studies when they’re published. Innovative athletes may already be trying new techniques where scientific proof might come along that confirms the methods.”