This study examined the anaerobic and aerobic contributions to muscle metabolism during high intensity short duration exercise. Six males [mean (SD): age 25.0 (6.0) years, height 179.0 (8.2) cm, mass 70.01 (7.42) kg, VO2max 4.63 (0.53) l.min-1, body fat 12.7 (2.3)%] performed three counterbalanced treatments of 30, 60 and 90 s of maximal cycling on an air-braked ergometer. All treatments were also performed on days when biopsies were not taken from the vastus lateralis muscle and cannulae not inserted into a forearm vein to ascertain whether these procedures adversely affected performance. The mean results can be summarised as follows: (Table: see text). The muscle lactate and O2 deficit data suggested that 60 and 90 s were more appropriate durations than 30 s for assessing the anaerobic capacity on an air-braked cycle ergometer. The mean power outputs also indicated that the invasive procedures did not adversely affect performance [corrected].