Here is a method for determining human body muscle mass using the anthropometric measures of girth and skinfolds (Martin et al, 1990). The formula was developed from measurements conducted on cadavers. There are many other methods for determining muscle mass, though most require more sophisticated equipment.
purpose: to calculate body muscle mass using the simply attained girth and skinfold measurements.
procedure: The formula for calculating muscle mass requires six anthropometric measurements. Follow the links for detailed procedures for recording each of these measurements. Height and girths are measured in cm, skinfolds in mm. See the procedures for: height, mid-thigh girth, calf girth, forearm girth, mid-thigh skinfold and calf skinfold. The girth measurements include subcutaneous fat, which is corrected for using the skinfold measures.
results: The equations to use is as follows, where: H = height, FG = forearm girth, CG = calf girth, CCG = corrected calf girth, TG = mid-thigh girth, CTG = corrected mid-thigh girth, ϖ = Pi.
CTG = TG - ϖ(mid-thigh skinfold/10)
CCG = CG - ϖ(calf skinfold/10)
Muscle mass (g) = H(0.0553CTG² + 0.0987FG² + 0.0331CCG²) - 2445
advantages: This calculation of muscle mass requires equipment that is available in most gyms, compared to many other muscle mass assessment techniques that require expensive and hard to find equipment.
target population: these formula is applicable for men. This test is suitable for bodybuilders and sports people wanting to monitor changes in body muscle mass with resistance training
- Martin, A.D., Spenst, L.F., Drinkwater, D.T. and Clarys, J.P. (1990) Anthropometric estimation of muscle mass in men. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 22, 729-733.
- Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) — using this method you can determine body components including non fat soft tissue.
- Total Body Potassium (TBK) accurately determines the body's total cell mass (that is, the active growing tissues in the body), which in turn can be used to estimate fat-free or lean body mass. When this measurement is combined with measurements from the Total Body Protein, you can determine total organ and muscle mass.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) — with MRI it is possible to get accurate measurements of the composition of body tissue, by identifying muscle, fat and organs etc.
- Total Body Electrical Conductivity (TOBEC) — can be used to estimate lean body mass.
- Computed Tomography (CT) — the high quality images can be processed to differentiate and measure the amounts of fat and lean body tissue.
- See more methods for determining muscle mass
- Other body composition tests and about measuring body composition
- Videos of Anthropometric Tests
- skinfold caliper store