“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

“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.”

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