Software Internship and Masters Thesis Possibility for BMR Research on Athletes

In making my new accurate calorie calculator, I once again discovered how primitive the state of the art is for estimating the BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). The equations are good starting points but people on fringes of what is normal for the population gets less accurate results. As athletes/bodybuilders, my guess is that we dont fit well into these models based upon average populations – I could be wrong, but I want to find out.

I want to run an online study in an attempt to see how the actual BMR of bodybuilders compares to the basal metabolic rate estimated by the Harris-Benedict, Mifflin-St Jeor, Katch-McArdle, and Cunningham models. I am hoping to get at least 500 bodybuilders to participate. My goals are:

  1. Find which of the models is the most accurate for bodybuilders
  2. Find out if there is a correction factor to the above model that needs to be taken into account for bodybuilders
  3. Help shed some light on those mysterious “Activity Levels” so we can provide more accurate guidance to people in properly choosing their BMR multiplier based upon how many hours of weight lifting, HIIT cardio, and steady state cardio they do

Sorry, this is going to be an unpaid project.  I need two volunteers now, I need a software engineer with some experience in iPhone development or LAMP ( Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) to implement a data collection system.   Also I would love to have someone in a masters program who would like to make this metabolic research part of a masters thesis.

Here is the approximate functionality spec for the system, it could be server based, iPhone based, or even better yet – both!

  • automated account setup, username/password selection and click-to-confirm email verification
  • lost password recovery
  • secure way to message the study administrator (that’s me!)
  • profile page with all body stats (height, age, gender, goal, etc)
  • calculate their daily calorie intake (use my  accurate calorie calculator equations).  Every day it must be re-calculated based upon their current weight.
  • ability to upload files (starting photo, ending photo, etc)
  • daily activity logging
    • calories consumed
    • minutes powerlifting
    • minutes bodybuilding
    • minutes HIIT
    • minutes low level cardio (walking etc)
    • minutes high level cardio (running, swimming, etc)
    • bodyweight
    • skinfold measurements
  • Data export of all study data to XLS file for data analysis (admin access only – include no private data)
  • Possibly import food/exercise log from if we dont have our own native app(need to explore legal issues)
  • Optional would be things like:
    • charting weight, LBM, and fat
    • integrating with AskScooby Forum (SMF)
    • lifting logs
    • photo gallery

If its iPhone based, the application must function when offline and send data to the server when a link is available.

If I can’t find someone who is willing to make this research part of a masters these, I would fill that role by using the experts on the AskScooby and forums. All data would become public domain and I would make both the analyzed data and the raw data (stripped of any personal info) available publicly via my website.

If you have the skills and the time, please respond to this post.  I need someone who is experienced enough that I can basically give the Cpanel login and let them go to town.  I can oversee the study and promote it but I unfortunately dont have time to be involved with the implementation.  BTW, it doesnt have to be pretty, just functional!!!  If you are a software engineer looking for an unpaid internship, this summer project could look great on  your resume.

I would love it if someone working on a masters degree in exercise physiology, medicine, nutrition, or any related medical field could run this study and analyze the data as part of their masters thesis!  This person would work with the programmer up front to insure that the software collected all the relevant data necessary for the research.  This has the possibility to be a very big and important study.



17 thoughts on “Software Internship and Masters Thesis Possibility for BMR Research on Athletes”

  1. Scooby,

    I have been dropping in to your website for about a couple years or so now. On a side note, I think the site is great and full of great information!

    I noticed you use WordPress. I have been using it for about a year now. I love it! To me it almost sounds like you want a social network tool geared towards weightlifting/exercising. If you or you get someone to intern, have them look into BuddyPress. It is a social network plugin for WordPress. I have never used it myself but I have read up on it and seems like a great tool. I would love to help you out with this I just do not have the time.

    Best Regards,


  2. Scooby im 14 years old and i just wanna thank you for helping everyone! it sure helped me! This is one of the only websites that explained everything i needed thanks alot!

  3. I’d love to help, I’m a professional athlete now, but am retiring after next season (i’ll be 25 then) and getting my masters in a medical field (public health or PA, I have a BSC in Biology and minor in organic chem). I could also be the test dummy as I track all my calories, nutritional ratio, exercise, body fat, and time exercising. I’ve kept track of this for the last three years. Again, I’m not in a masters program now, but i will be getting one. This would be an excellent master’s topic anyway.

    I am very interested.

  4. “Немања Стошић” thanks for your comment :) Scooby I agree with most of the comments here Android is “in” these days, since I have experience in Java , Mysql and Android platforms it will be easy for me to develop applications based on java… Hope you will reply…

  5. Hi Scooby, I am a .net/iOS developer for more than 6 years. I regularly follow your website and I can help you out with writing the iPhone app for you.

  6. Немања Стошић

    I’d love to help but my software engineering is currently only substantial in Windows programming and I wouldn’t like to falsely claim I’d be able to accomplish all the tasks you’ve published. So I wouldn’t recommend myself for the job, unless in dire need. Pick Bhupesh, as far as his message, he’s willing to help and is already spending a lot of time on your site and boards. And as far as for his knowledge he’s got 12 years of experience so I’d say, he’s the man to pick

  7. Since more people are buying Android phones (including myself) – both in but especially outside the US – and most programmers know Java, I don’t see why make it only for iPhone. It would probably be better to use something to develop it for both platforms. At least one fan won’t be able to use your app if you base it on iOS.

  8. Hello Scooby… at last, an opportunity for me to contribute in a meaningful way to the body building and fitness industry.

    I am not in any Masters program, neither do I have any software experience. Now I hear you thinking to yourself, “well, how can this person help in my research?”

    I am glad you thought that question. My expertise comes in the form of liquid refreshments and yummy snack advice.

    I have spent many years sitting at computers, and believe me when I say that the right coffee is essential if one is to maximize one’s potential, and it is not easy to work through all the choices available in today’s consumerism environment.

    Furthermore, choosing the most tasty, yummy snack to enjoy with one’s coffee is imperative, as the gastric juices that flow have a direct and proportional correlation to the flow of one’s creative juices.

    It is a well known fact that the late Steve Jobs had a whole department in Apple specifically designed to investigate which yummy snacks went best with particular brands and styles of coffee. This is the major reason that Apple have been such a successful company.

    What is less well known that the name Apple was chosen, because back in the good old days they thought an apple was the best and yummiest snack available and wished to forever laud it’s greatness. Had he founded the same company today I have no doubt it would not have been named Apple….. unless it was closely followed by the word Crumble.

    I feel sure, that as a valuable member of your Research Team I will be a constant source of inspiration, and pure amazement. Some would have it said that “A Chain is only as strong as its weakest link”. Let Me bring this saying into the twenty-first century, and say that “A research team is only as strong as its favorite coffee”

    Feel free to leave a message as to when it would best suit you to get together with me to further this noble quest.

  9. I can help you for an android porting of the software… it was some time that i’d like to ask you if i could build some mobile apps based on your webapps, feel free to contact me at: daniele.cannova at gmail
    i’m also an all round web/database programmer but i’ve no experience on apple platform.

  10. I’m not sure wether you got my previous message or not. Worth writing again. I’m willing to help and interested in the project.

    Knowledge is not an issue, time neither if deadlines are reasonable (but we should dicusss more in depth about this point). In case just let me know.

  11. This looks like an interesting study actually :)

    I wish I had the time, but work is at it’s peak right now in Tax season. I’ve been doing php and sql for fifteen years … I can do the requirements above. You might even do better with a couple programmers on it. I don’t often recommend single developer projects as they are higher risk.

    Note on the skinfold measurements, some systems use 3 measurements, some use as many as nine. You will need to iron that out in the requirements how many measurements you want asap.

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