High intensity leg cycle ergometry is a widely used method of measuring muscular performance during maximal exercise. Until recently, it was deemed to be a predominantly lower body activity; however, there is now evidence to suggest that the upper body could be making a significant contribution to power output, as demonstrated by the intense electrical activity of the forearm musculature. As high intensity cycle ergometry often is used to measure performance in untrained cyclists it is important they are given at least two familiarisation trials to ensure results are both reliable and reproducible. In addition, diurnal variations exist during a single high intensity bout of exercise. It is likely these daily fluctuations are influenced by a number of biochemical and physiological variables. The purpose of this article is to outline factors that contribute to our interpretation of data following high intensity cycle ergometry.