Chase Vaughn

Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

James Hokanson, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Peter McGinnis, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Philip Buckenmeyer, Ph.D.


There are many misconceptions within the fitness community. One such misconception is that an increase in muscle mass will have a large increase in basal metabolic rate, yet this may not be the best way for successful weight loss. The purpose of this study was to determine the strength of the correlation between skeletal muscle mass and basal metabolic rate. The hypothesis tested was that basal metabolic rate is strongly correlated with skeletal muscle mass. The participants were college-aged males (n =17). Skeletal muscle mass (SMM) was estimated using the skin-fold circumference model (SFCM): SMM (kg) = Ht (0.00744 CAG2 + 0.00088 CTG2 +0.00441 CCG2 ) + 2.4 sex – 0.048 age + race + 7.8 (Lee et al., 2000). In the aforementioned equation, sex = 1 for male and 0 for female. and race = -2.0 for Asian, 1.1 for African American, and 0 for white or Hispanic. CAG, CTG, and CCG represent skinfold-corrected upperarm, thigh, and calf circumferences respectively. VO2 was measured and used to calculate basal metabolic rate (BMR); kcal=[(1.1* RER) + 3.9] * VO2 (L/min) (Weir, 1949). The mean skeletal muscle mass (SMM) for all subjects was 34.9 kg (SD = 6.25). The mean resting VO2 for all subjects was 316.7 ml/min (SD = 58.0). The mean basal metabolic rate (BMR) for all subjects was 2103 kcal/day (SD = 444). BMR was plotted against SMM showing a positive linear relationship r 2 = 0.65 and a high correlation value, r = 0.80. Based on the methods used and the statistical analysis of the data collected, results of this study suggest that an increase in SMM is associated with BMR. There was a 95% difference in kcals/day between the lowest and highest SMM value.