The aim of this study was to assess the appearance of cardiac troponins (cTnI and/or cTnT) after a short bout (30 s) of ‘all-out’ intense exercise and to determine the stability of any exercise-related cTnI release in response to repeated bouts of high intensity exercise separated by 7 days recovery. Eighteen apparently healthy, physically active, male university students completed two all-out 30 s cycle sprint, separated by 7 days. cTnI, blood lactate and catecholamine concentrations were measured before, immediately after and 24 h after each bout. Cycle performance, heart rate and blood pressure responses to exercise were also recorded. Cycle performance was modestly elevated in the second trial [6·5% increase in peak power output (PPO)]; there was no difference in the cardiovascular, lactate or catecholamine response to the two cycle trials. cTnI was not significantly elevated from baseline through recovery (Trial 1: 0·06 ± 0·04 ng ml−1, 0·05 ± 0·04 ng ml−1, 0·03 ± 0·02 ng ml−1; Trial 2: 0·02 ± 0·04 ng ml−1, 0·04 ± 0·03 ng ml−1, 0·05 ± 0·06 ng ml−1) in either trial. Very small within subject changes were not significantly correlated between the two trials (r = 0·06; P>0·05). Subsequently, short duration, high intensity exercise does not elicit a clinically relevant response in cTnI and any small alterations likely reflect the underlying biological variability of cTnI measurement within the participants.