1. Methods are described for study of metabolism of human skeletal muscle in situ, at rest and during mild sustained contraction in the fed and fasted states.
2. At rest the average oxygen uptake was 0.29 ml min−1 100 ml of muscle−1 and the carbon dioxide output was 0.22 ml. Glucose uptake was 0.49 mg min−1 100 ml of muscle−1. The respiratory quotient was 0.75, indicating that most of the glucose was being stored.
3. When subjects made hand-grips of 5% of their maximal voluntary contraction force (5% MVC) the oxygen and carbon dioxide exchanges both increased by six times while the glucose uptake increased by 70% of the resting value.
4. A 7 h fast before the observations were made severely decreased both resting and exercising glucose uptake but produced no other alteration in the metabolism of the muscle.