Frequently Asked Questions – Find answers

 

 

What are the benefits of training with Mpower?

 

Mpower helps you to train smarter and to achieve better results in strength training. Mpower helps you to understand whether you are using your muscles as efficiently as you could.  What is noteworthy is that with Mpower you can get information from individual muscles instead of large muscle groups or areas. This way you get valuable information about whether the particular exercise actually activates the intended muscle. The unique specialty of Mpower lies in its first-time-ever capability to measure the fast muscle fiber activation and muscle fatigue to provide guidance for the trainer. Mpower app also enables you to follow your progress on routine or muscle level. The fatigue index and fast activation power helps you to understand how to train better and when it is the right time to stop.

 

How do I use Mpower?

 

Mpower consists of pods, straps and adhesive stamps, mobile app and cloud service. With Mpower, you can plan your workouts using a versatile exercise library or alternatively you may opt to start instant measurement and begin monitoring your muscle performance straightaway. 

 

To start training with Mpower download the Mpower app to your mobile device from the Google Play and create your account. Then you need to attach the pods on the skin on top of each muscle to be measured, pair them with the app and join the pods to selected muscles within the app. The Mpower app will recognize your pods the next time you open it and connect them automatically so that you can start training as fast a possible.

 

How do I start using the Mpower pod(s) with my mobile device?

 

Pairing is needed for the pod(s) and the application on mobile device to communicate and exchange data with one another. For pairing the pod(s) Mpower app enters “Pods & Muscles” view, see picture below

 

                                                        

 

 

The pod icons (Pod 1 - Pod 4) are used for connecting the app to pods. Pod search should start automatically after this view is entered. If this does not happen, you can activate Pod 1 search by touching the pod icon.

 

When a pod is connected, its corresponding icon blinks red when the pod is tapped or shaken – this provides you an easy way check which pod is attached to which muscle when you have multiple pods. You can interrupt the pod search or disconnect a pod at any time by pressing the tiny “x” in the upper right hand corner of a pod. You can resume the pod search at any time by pressing the pod icon.

 

Having problems in pairing the pod(s) with the mobile application

 

If your mobile app doesn’t find and pair the pod(s) automatically:

1.     Make sure the Bluetooth is on in your mobile device

2.     Make sure you have powered on the pod(s) and they have enough battery life (recommendation is over 50%)

3.     Tap the "Connect Pods" button or a pod icon on the bottom of the UI

a.     The pod icon borderline starts blinking red when it has detected the pod(s) and turns white when the connection is ready

4.     Remove the pod connection by tapping the "x" next to the pod icon, if the mobile app doesn’t detect the pod(s) or doesn’t connect the pod(s) and tap again the "Connect Pods" button - or tap on the pod icon directly

 

Usually repeating this connect-remove-connect sequence for a few times helps to get the pods connected successfully.

 

If the problem persists and you have continuous difficulties of getting the pods connected:

1.     Exit Mpower mobile application

2.     Execute force quit for Mpower application.

3.     Remove the Bluetooth pairing from your mobile device settings by removing your Mpower pod(s) linking from your mobile device's Bluetooth setting menu. You may also want to remove some other Bluetooth device linking as well.

  1. Turn off Bluetooth from your mobile device.
  2. Turn back on Bluetooth on you mobile device.
  3. Re-start Mpower mobile application.
  4. Pair your Mpower pod(s) with the Mpower app in the "Pods & Muscles".

 

Usually after this the pods connect successfully.  If still unsuccessful, you may try uninstalling/re-installing Mpower mobile application.

 

Mpower pod(s) mobile setup fails, now what?

 

If your mobile app says Pairing failed and Connection lost during the setup, remove the Bluetooth pairing from your mobile device settings. Pair the devices again.

 

If you’ve disabled Bluetooth in the middle of the first setup, close the Update failed message and sign out of Mpower app, or force quit the app, and start again.

 

If you experience unexpected behavior in Mpower app during setup, first force quit it to see if this helps. If not, uninstall and reinstall the app. Reset your Mpower pod(s) if nothing else works.

 

How can I tell which Mpower pod is connected with my mobile device?

 

Open the mobile app. You can see the connected pod(s) in the Pods & Muscles view. When you shake or tap the pod you can see the corresponding pod icon blinking red in the mobile app.

 

How can I tell which Mpower pod is connected to which muscle?

 

You can see the connected pod(s) in the Pods & Muscles view. The connected muscle is written in the pod icon. When you shake or tap the pod you can see the corresponding pod icon blinking red in the mobile app.

 

How do I wear the Mpower pod(s)?

 

The Mpower pod can be attached with a strap or adhesive stamp. You can adjust the straps to find the optimal tightness for your muscles. Since not all muscles are easy to measure with a strap, we came up with easy-to-use adhesives that enable you to attach the pods to any muscle. The traction force in the used adhesive is many times the weight of the pods. With extreme exercises you can use both straps and adhesives together to secure the pods.

 

Will the Mpower pod be comfortable when worn on the muscles?

 

The Mpower pod is quite indistinguishable so you can easily wear it for hours regardless if you are using straps or adhesives.

 

What muscles can be measured with Mpower?

 

With Mpower you can measure 34 superficial muscles of your body. Up to four muscles can be measured simultaneously.

 

What is sEMG signal?

 

EMG (electromyography) consists of electrical signals of muscles and nerves controlling the contraction of the muscles. EMG signal can be measured non-invasively with special electrodes placed on the skin overlying the muscle(s) of interest (i.e. surface EMG or sEMG)

sEMG technology has enabled the use of sEMG signal for medical and sports physiology related muscle performance analysis.

 

sEMG signal contains useful information about

a.     Activation level of the muscle

b.     Activation levels of specific types of muscle cells

c.      Muscle fatigue

d.     Timing of muscle activation(s) in relation to movement

 

 

 

How does Mpower measure muscle activation?

 

Mpower pod consists of electrodes that use sEMG technology to measure the electronic signal muscle produces during the contraction. The measurement tells you the power output of your muscles i.e. how much your muscles activate during the exercise. 

 

How is muscle activation shown in the Mpower app?

 

Based on the measurement data Mpower app calculates multiple parameters that help users get the most out of their training. You can view your training data at a galance in real-time. You can also follow your weekly and monthly status in a clear, visual format. Mpower syncs and stores all your muscle activation data to the web.

 

-       For each muscle contraction Mpower shows in real-time for each measured muscle the Activation Power indicator on top, the Fast Activation Power indicator below it and Fatigue Index inside the red circle in the bottom

-       The figure in the middle of the Activation Power indicator represents instantaneous Activation Power and the smaller figure below it stands for Activation Volume i.e. the cumulative Activation Power produced during the set

-       You can toggle between the Activation Power and Activation Curve (which shows the instantaneous Activation Power over time) by using the tiny tag on the right side of the display.

 

 

What is Activation Power?

 

Activation Power is the instantaneous electrical power produced by your muscle when training. It is relative to the muscle strength production during training and well describes how the exercise repetitions impact your muscle. Instantaneous Activation Power peak-values can be used to monitor the development of maximal strength production.

 

What are fast muscle fibers and why they are important?

 

The muscle fibers of skeletal muscle can be divided into fast and slow muscle fibers. Fast muscle fibers are better at generating power but these fibers fatigue faster than slow fibers. Slow fibers fire more slowly than fast fibers but have the capability to contract longer before fatiguing. Thus the fast muscle fibers are essential for speed, explosive and maximum power production. They also grow more effectively in size, which is preferred in hypertrophic training. Slow muscle fiber activation is required for endurance training and control of posture and coordination. With Mpower you have the chance to monitor online the activation levels of each type of fibers and adjust your training according to the type and level of desired workout.

 

Why it is beneficial and important to detect muscle fatigue?

 

Recognizing the signs of fatigue and avoiding overtraining is key to improvement. Mpower tells you when the muscle fatigue starts impacting your training as the fast muscle fibers get tired – this way you can monitor whether you still want to continue training further or stop to get best results. When your fast muscle fibers get tired you may not any more be able to gain the benefits you want e.g. from your speed strength training. Use this information to ensure you are not training your muscles when they are too tired.

 

Why I am not getting any Activation Power readings on mobile app?

 

Check your pods are connected to the app (white pod icon borderline, pod icon blinks when the corresponding pod is shaken or tap). If not, re-connect pods to the app.

 

Check the pods are mapped to muscles in the app. The muscle name is showing on the pod icon that has been successfully mapped.

 

Check that the measurement is active, use either Workout Plan or Instant measurement (see Mpower User Guide).

 

Check that the pod is attached on top of a muscle to be exercised and is on skin contact. Placing it on muscle, which is not contracted does not yield any activation signal. Make sure the pod is roughly in the middle of the muscle. No material (garment, adhesive etc.) should be between the pod steel electrode and the skin.

 

Thick fat tissue may cause the sEMG signal produced by the muscle to attenuate to non-observable level. In such case dietary and training measures are needed bring the fat tissue thickness down to allow observable signal levels.

 

Why is Activation Power reading suddenly going down during my exercise?

 

Mpower is quite sensitive recording the muscle activation. Therefore, when the muscle gets tired it is possible that you can not reach the same activation levels through-out the exercise and this is shown as reduced Activation Power reading.

Sometimes heavy sweating caused long-lasting strength training may disturb the measurement. If this is suspected, stop the measurement, detach the pod and dry it and the skin underneath it well. Then put the pod back on and continue the measurement.

 

Why do I get huge differences in Activation Power between different muscles?

 

Each individual has muscles with their unique physiological composition and capability to produce Activation Power. Mpower is designed to show development of muscles of an individual person by recording and following the changes in individual muscle’s Activation Power production capability in the course of strength training.

 

The sometimes quite significant differences of the Activation Power levels between your various muscles do not directly lend themselves for comparing the strength production capabilities between muscles. Rather the focus should be on comparing the Activation Power levels produced by the same muscles at different training times.

 

Can I compare my muscle Activation Power to that of others?

 

Each individual has muscles with their unique physiological composition and capability to produce Activation Power. Mpower is designed to show development of muscles of an individual person by recording and following the changes in individual muscle’s Activation Power production capability in the course of strength training.

 

Due to this we cannot give any statement about the comparability of the results between individual persons and how the comparison results should be interpreted. However, bearing this in mind, naturally nothing prevents you comparing the Activation Power readings with you buddies, but merely just for the fun of it J.

 

 

Can multiple people use Mpower?

 

Mpower pods can be shared between multiple people like friends and family provided they use their own Mpower account in the mobile device. This way the Mpower app records their individual measurement data and adapts and calibrates itself to the user.

 

Mpower app adapts and calibrates itself to the various muscles of the user e.g. by identifying personal maximum activation power levels, which are used in the background to personalize the activation power level displayed for each muscle. Furthermore, Mpower app handles the measurement data and associated development analysis on personal level. Therefore it is important that every user creates own account in the Mpower app.

 

Can I use Mpower to measure my customers or my team?

 

Mpower pods can be used with multiple customers provided that you create an individual Mpower account for each one of them in the mobile device. This way the Mpower app records their individual measurement data and adapts and calibrates itself to the user.

 

Mpower app adapts and calibrates itself to the various muscles of the user e.g. by identifying personal maximum activation power levels, which are used in the background to personalize the activation power level displayed for each muscle. Furthermore, Mpower app handles the measurement data and associated development analysis on personal level. Therefore it is important that every user creates own account in the Mpower app.

 

How accurate is Mpower technology?

 

Ambient noise easily distorts the surface EMG measurements. The sophisticated electrode design and capabilities of Mpower pod effectively remove this noise. As the signal is amplified and digitized at the source, it provides a high-quality starting point for the novel signal analysis. The algorithms then carefully analyze the signal frequency spectrum for its power components. More information about the science behind Mpower mpower-bestrong.com/science

 

How does Mpower technology compare to laboratory level sEMG-measurements?

 

The Mpower has been validated against the laboratory level equipment by an independent research institute. According to their measurement results the sEMG-signal amplitude measurement results obtained with Mpower correlated extremely well with corresponding laboratory measurement (validation report available @ mpower-bestrong.com/science).

 

What is the difference between Mpower pod and sEMG technology integrated into garments (trousers and shirts)?

 

With Mpower you can get information from individual muscles instead of large muscle groups or areas. This way you get valuable information about whether the particular exercise actually activates the intended muscle. This makes it possible to provide unique information about your muscles like the fast muscle fiber activation and muscle fatigue. Mpower app also enables you to follow your progress on routine or muscle level.

 

What Android devices are Mpower compatible with?

 

Mpower is compatible with most Android devices using Android 4.4 or later. In the case of Android smartphones there may be some compatibility issues as Bluetooth technology varies between different models of Android devices.

 

How long does the battery work?

 

The Mpower pods can be recharged using micro-USB cable connected to a computer or with micro-USB charger (not included in the sales package). The fully charged batteries of Mpower pods have been tested to last up to 4 hours of continuous measurement without charging. It is recommended to keep your pod(s) at least 50% charged for optimum measurement and training experience. If the pod(s) charging level is low there may be issues with Bluetooth connection and it is recommended to charge the pod(s) before use.

 

Is Mpower pod waterproof?

 

The Mpower pod is not waterproof but it is water resistant. It has been proven to last perspiration so the Mpower pod will not let you down even in heavy workout. It is not suitable for showering or swimming.

 

What is the warranty for Mpower?

 

Warranty period for Mpower is twelve (12) months from the date of delivery, except for the accessories (straps, adhesives) the warranty period is six (6) months.

 

When will there be an iOS version of Mpower?

 

Currently Mpower works only with Android devices. Nevertheless, we are prepared and committed to develop an iOS version of Mpower as well, but at the moment we do not yet have a schedule for it. The Mpower application is iOS compatible, but we need to make modifications to pod hardware under Apple MFi program to make it iOS compatible.

 

Does Mpower calculate the number of repetitions of my exercise?

 

You can manually modify the number of sets, repetitions and load in the Mpower app, which calculates the workout summary data accordingly.

 

Where can I find the serial number of the Mpower pod?

 

Mpower serial number is marked with a sticker on the back of the sales package. There is no serial number marking on the pod itself.