Brandon Sawyer, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Kinesiology
Professor of Kinesiology and Biology

Dr. Brandon Sawyer graduated from PLNU with a B.A. in Athletic Training and became an ATC shortly after graduation. He spent a year interning as an ATC with the San Diego Chargers, then moved to Virginia to complete his master’s in exercise physiology. Following completion of his master’s degree, Sawyer spent a year teaching at Fresno State in its athletic training program and worked as an ATC for local high schools and the Central Valley Coyotes (Arena Football). After the year in Fresno, he became the head ATC at PLNU and also taught exercise physiology and athletic training courses. After three years at PLNU, Sawyer moved to Arizona and completed his Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology at Arizona State University. He returned to PLNU in fall 2013 and currently has a dual appointment in biology and kinesiology.


  • Ph.D., Physical Activity Nutrition and Wellness, Arizona State University
  • M.Ed., Exercise Physiology, University of Virginia
  • B.A., Athletic Training, Point Loma Nazarene University

Courses Taught

  • The Physiology of Exercise – KIN 3040 
  • The Physiology of Exercise Laboratory – KIN 3040L 
  • Advanced/Clinical Exercise Physiology – KIN 4030
  • Human Physiology I – BIO 1030
  • Human Physiology II – BIO 1040
  • Foundations in Kinesiology – KIN 6000
  • Clinical Exercise Physiology and Metabolism – KIN 6046

Experience in Field

Dr. Brandon Sawyer’s main areas of research interest are:

  • Maximal exercise performance (VO2max, critical power, exercise economy, etc.)
  • Vascular (endothelial) function and exercise
  • Obesity and exercise

Current research at PLNU involves:

  • Trying to figure out the most accurate way to test maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) by using a test called the verification phase
  • Evaluating the blood flow characteristics during high-intensity interval training and continuous exercise

Research Gate

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications

  • Sawyer BJ, Tucker WJ, Bhammar DM, Ryder JR, Sweazea KL, Gaesser GA. (2016). Effects of High-intensity Interval Training and Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training on Endothelial Function and Cardiometabolic Risk Markers in Obese Adults. J Appl Physiol. 121: 279–288.
  • Bhammar DM, Sawyer BJ, Tucker WJ, Lee JM, Gaesser GA. (2016). Validity of SenseWear® Armband v5.2 and v2.2 for Estimating Energy Expenditure. Journal of Sports Sciences. 8:1-9. 10.1080/02640414.2016.1140220.
  • Sawyer BJ, Bhammar DM, Tucker WJ, Gaesser GA. (2015). Using a Verification Test for Determination of VO₂max in Sedentary Adults with Obesity. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 29(12): 3432–3438.
  • Tucker WJ, Sawyer BJ, Bhammar DM, Jarrett CL , Gaesser GA. (2015). Physiological Responses to High-Intensity Interval Exercise Differing in Interval Duration. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 29(12): 3326–3335.
  • Tucker WJ, Bhammar DM, Sawyer BJ, Buman MP, Gaesser GA. Validity and Reliability of Nike+ FuelBand for Estimating Physical Activity Energy Expenditure. Sports Science, Medicine, and Rehabilitation. 7:14. DOI 10.1186/s13102-015-0008-7.
  • Sawyer BJ, Bhammar DM, Angadi SS, Ryder JR, Ryan DM, Sussman EJ, Bertman FMW, Gaesser GA. (2014). Heterogeneity of Fat Loss in Response to 12 weeks of Treadmill Walking in Women. Predictors of Fat Mass Changes in Response to Aerobic Exercise Training in Women. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 29(2): 297-304.
  • Sawyer BJ, Stokes, DG, Womack, CJ, Morton, RH, Weltman A, Gaesser GA. (2014). Strength Training Increases Endurance Time to Exhaustion During High-Intensity Exercise Despite No Change in Critical Power. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 28(3): 601-609.
  • Sawyer BJ, Morton RH, Womack CJ, Gaesser GA. (2012). VO2max May Not Be Reached During Exercise to Exhaustion Above Critical Power. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 44(8):1533-1538.
  • Gaesser, GA, Angadi, SS, Sawyer, BJ. (2011). Exercise and Diet, Independent of Weight Loss, Improve Cardiometabolic Risk Profile in Overweight and Obese Individuals. Physician and Sports Medicine. 39(2):87-97.
  • Sawyer, BJ, Blessinger, JR, Irving, BA, Weltman, A, Patrie, JT, Gaesser, GA. (2010). Walking and Running Economy: Inverse Association with Peak Oxygen Uptake. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 42(11): 2122-2127.
  • Blessinger, J, Sawyer, B, Davis, C, Irving, BA, Weltman, A, Gaesser, GA. (2009). Reliability of the VmaxST Portable Metabolic Measurement System. International Journal of Sports Medicine. 30(1): 22-26.
  • Gaesser GA, Angadi SS, Sawyer BJ, Tucker WJ, Jarrett CL. (2014). Exercise and Diet Improve Cardiometabolic Risk in Overweight and Obese Individuals Without Weight Loss. In Glucose Intake and Utilization in Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes: Induction of Cardiovascular Disease, Watson & Dokken (eds.), Elsevier. Chapter 29.
  • Sawyer BJ, Angadi SS, Gaesser GA. (2013). Book Title: Wellness Not Weight: Motivational Interviewing and Health At Every Size. Chapter Title: The Health Benefits of Physical Activity and Diet Independent of Weight Loss. Cognella Academic Publishing. Paperback ISBN: 978-1-62131-092-1.