Which is better - Tendo or Nemes?

Which is the better power measuring unit - Tendo FiTRODYNE or the Nemes Micro Muscle Lab?

BTW Shaun -

how durable are these devices? I mean with all the fast moving bars that the device will be starpped to, I guess wear and tear would be extreme.

I’m based in Sydney.

Still deciding wether I really need one of these machines or not. I guess they do take out a lot of guesswork in power training, spefiically how many sets to do in a session before fatigue sets in.

The MicroMuscleLab is a much better and more convenient machine than the Fitrodyne. The standard MicroMusclelab Power also measures peak power in addition to average power. It also determines the optimum load.

Randy Huntingdon has been working with the Fitrodyne for a while but was much more impressed with the Musclelab when I showed him mine, particularly because it is neater and easier to carry and work with, but Peak Power is important for him. He is now trying the Full Musclelab machine which can measure virtually anything.

Even more interesting, there is also a MicroMuscleLab Power+ version, which can also be attached to contact mats, and even IR mats for muliple jump and contact time measurements, in addition to the normal power measurements. It can also function as an Isometric measuring device using a standard strain guage.
It also will give you an indication of 1RM in addition to optimum load, just by measuring power at 2 different loads.

I believe that Springco Athletics/ Athletics Plus will be selling this machine in the US.

Contact me if you need any more info: ShaunP@planet.nl

Hi Col.

I did not realise that you were Aussie based, I guess that I have not been following all your posts. Where are you actually based? Maybe I can help you to get one of the machines, as I deal with the Manufacturer in Norway, and have arranged for their sales in the US.

I train Aaron Neighbour, a shot and Disc thrower from Melbourne, who is living here in Holland. He has expressed an interest in making these machines available in Australia, along with some other cool technology!

The MicroMuscleLab was specifically designed not to have a memory function, as it would require a number of more layers in the Menu to identify the user and the exercise. It was really developed as a Biofeedback system for training with. The full MuscleLab has all of the memory functions that you could ever wish for, and can measure pretty much everything simultaneously, which while great for most sports scientists, makes it far too much for the average athlete and coach to use easily. The new version of this machine is now completed and is really quite special, as it is very small and neat, and is now capable of wireless connectivity with the computer, which is very practical.

The microMuscleLab is basically the 5% of the big machine that is needed while training, and is much easier to carry around, as it comes in a small waist pouch that usually would carry a mini-DV video camera. This makes it much more practical than the Tendo.

I am sure that the next version, or more accurately production run, will have a bigger e-prom chip on it than that originally available, and this will probably allow for a little more funtionality, such as the ability to scroll through each rep in a set while training.

The Power+ version has a bigger chip in order to cope with the added Jump functions available, and so we were able to add the 1RM capability to the production, but this was not possible with the normal Power only version, as there was absolutely no more space for anything extra in the programme. These machines are now being used by the England Rugby team with great success, and they like the 1RM estimate function, as they can show the athletes that they are getting stronger without the potential risk of injury that a max squat, for example, may hold.

I think as more people find out about the possibilities of the MuscleLab, you will see some very interesting information coming out of it. I know that just before his untimely death, Mel Siff was really excited about the possibilities and what he could show with it. He had many discussions with Ole Olsen, the designer, about what it could do, particularly the need to come up with a new term for the much-used “Rate of Force Development” as it was not being used correctly in exercises like the Clean, in relation to its peak!

I think that you will be very happy with this machine.


thanks Shaun!

That helps a lot. The MML can’t store data for sets/reps right?

I have been leaning towards the MML.
guess I’ll have to get one from the US. I don’t think there is an outlet here in Australia.

I have not had any problems regarding wear and tear, particularly with the new version of the MicroMuscleLab, as the linear encoder is very solid, and can even withstand a barbell being dropped on it.

The earlier encoder used to have a problem occasionally with the string coming out of its track inside the encoder, but this does not happen with the new version.

Not only can you determine the effective number of sets with this machine, but perhaps more importantly the correct number of reps with a particular weight. It also helps to determine recovery levels and whether you are recovered enough to take on a particular workout.


How much do these machines cost? (particularly the MML)

The MicroMuscleLab Power is available for around Euro 1000 (plus VAT in Europe), while the Power Plus version with extra Jumping functionality is around Euro 1250 (plus VAT), although you need a contact mat or Infra Red mat for the extra funtionality, which is around Euro 300-500 depending on which type.

I have seen them advertised for up to Euro 3000, which is a little expensive for me…

Shaun - can you repost the website you did, before the posts were lost?


Websites of interest for the MuscleLab are as follows:

Ergotest technology (manufacturers) www.ergotest.com

Nemes (Henk Kraaijenhofs company: closely related to Ergotest and Bosco) www.nemes.nl

Sales in US: www.athleticsplus.com and www.performbetter.com

I can probably also help you out if you were looking to purchase one.



Just wondering if the MicroMuscleLab has the 1RM estimation capability?

Also does the MML have from the MuscleLab this test -
muscle-fibre-composition-type, it gives the percentage FastTwitch muscle-fibres ?

Is there an Australia distributer yet?

Dear Col

The MicroMuscleLab Power-plus has the ability to project 1RM, based upon two lifts. One with a light load and one with a heavy load. It extrapolates the 1RM from the force power curve.

Similarly the Power plus version has the jumping capabilities on it, and comes with an infrared contact mat. This is two sets of infrared sensor beams, about 50cm long, that effectively measures on and off when you jump, therefore providing contact time and flight time info.

The ability to measure the fast twitch composition come from an existing protocol, known as the Bosco test, which was developed by Carmelo Bosco, and has been used since the 1970’s, so has a long history and a lot of research behind it. This test measures a squat jump and a counter movement jump, and compares the two against each other, and the historical data providing age, sex and training type, to give an elastic component, and therefore an estimation of the fast twitch composition.

The other part of the Jump measurements of the mML is the contact time for depth jumps and repeated jumps, as this allows you to find the most appropriate heights and reps when performing jumps.

This is of course in addition to the ability to measure the speed of the barbell and therefore the power in your lifts. I use this particularly for Bench Press and Squats, to ensure that we keep lifting explosive, whatever the weight. One workout that we find useful is a 5x5 in Bench press at 100kg, where we aim to keep the power above 1000 watts on each rep. We set the alarm to bleep if the power drops below 1000 watts, which is a good motivator also. We also try to keep this power improvement, with the highest single rep being over 1400 watts, with an average of the 5 reps being close to 1300 watts.

dop not think that anyone sells the machine in Oz yet. I know that Aaron Neighbour is now back in melbourne, after training with us in Msterdam for a while, and he was thinking of importing them, but I am not sure if is going to. The best thing if you want to get one is to contact Ergotest directly. I am sure that Ole Olsen would be happy to sell you one directly. They are small enough to be easy to sell.

I should also say that the new version of the MuscleLab is available, with all of the functionality, and a lot more, which works with a PC and stores all of the data automatically, which is really useful if you are working with groups or in a Lab situation. This is really much smaller that the first version, and is available in two versions, with and without EMG. The version without EMG is around Euro 4000, which is a great price for such a machine.

Shaun P


I’m just a bit miffed that there is so little info from the company themselves about the various models. Their website looks like it hasn’t been updated in a few years…

I found on an English website that there is an MicroMuscle Jump, with the contact map but it doesn’t have any means to measure bar speeds etc. And then the MicroMuscleLab Power, which does that but has no contact mat functions. So I gather the MMLPower+ is a combination of the 2 units?


You are right in that the power plus is a combination of the Jump and Power units. It does have one additional feature in that it has the option to estimate 1RM, which the power version is not able to do. This is due to the size of the memory chip in the units, where the power version uses a smaller chip, and this does not have the memory space to add this function.

This 1RM was added after the initial design and manufacture, actually for the units that were being sold to the England Rugby team, which have been using them for the past 18 months. There was enough space (just) on the larger chip to add this function, which I find very useful. You can see that your strength levels are improving without ever having to go near 1RM weights, which in some cases have a significant risk of injury.

The power-plus version also allows the attachment of a standard strain gauge to measure isometric force, which some people may find valuable, particularly for rehabilitation.

I agree with you regarding the poor information on the Ergotest website, but this is in some regards intentional. I have discussed this with Ole Olsen, the developer of the MuscleLab. He has had some significant problems with supply of components and the resulting manufacture of products, so he did not have any products to supply, so therefore has not promoted any of the products at all. It is only that the word of mouth is now spreading and there is a significant demand without any promotion. He has only just been able to manuacture the IR contact mats, due to the inability to get one single component, but this has now been overcome. I think that all these supply problems are now fixed, but he had a significant backlog of orders.

He was not trying to promote the products at all, as he could not supply any requests. The demand was increasing just through those having personal contact with one of the machines. I was unable to provide John Smith (HSI) with a machine when he saw it demonstrated on the circuit earlier this year.

There is not even a picture of the new smaller MuscleLab available anywhere, but they are selling quite well because the features ar so good, they are being purchased “sight unseen”!

I hope that this helps to explain.


Any idea how much the MMLPower Plus version is verses the regular MMLPower?


the prices of the various machines from Ergotest directly is as follows:

mML Jump (with IR Mat) is around Euro 1200

mML Power is Euro 1400

mML Power Plus (with IR mat) Euro 2000

The IR mat itself is around Euro 600 on its own. I have not seen a price for the Power plus without the IR contact mat.


thanks Shaun

time to budget :slight_smile:

Does anyone know if the Micro Muscle Lab is available in North America?

I would also like to know if I can find one in North America… I have yet to find on online…