Software Internship and Masters Thesis Possibility for BMR Research on Athletes

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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.