Wingate test (WT) training programmes lasting 2-3 weeks lead to improved peak oxygen consumption. If a single 30 s WT was capable of significantly increasing stroke volume and cardiac output, the increase in peak oxygen consumption could possibly be explained by improved oxygen delivery. Thus, we investigated whether a single WT increases stroke volume and cardiac output to similar levels than those obtained at peak exercise during a graded cycling exercise test (GXT) to exhaustion. Fifteen healthy young men (peak oxygen consumption 45.0 ± 5.3 ml kg(-1) min(-1)) performed one WT and one GXT on separate days in randomised order. During the tests, we estimated cardiac output using inert gas rebreathing (nitrous oxide and sulphur hexafluoride) and subsequently calculated stroke volume. We found that cardiac output was similar (18.2 ± 3.3 vs. 17.9 ± 2.6 l min(-1); P = 0.744), stroke volume was higher (127 ± 37 vs. 94 ± 15 ml; P < 0.001), and heart rate was lower (149 ± 26 vs. 190 ± 12 beats min(-1); P < 0.001) at the end (27 ± 2 s) of a WT as compared to peak exercise during a GXT. Our results suggest that a single WT produces a haemodynamic response which is characterised by similar cardiac output, higher stroke volume and lower heart rate as compared to peak exercise during a GXT.