Force-velocity relationships were determined from isotonic contractions of maximally activated fibres at 15 degrees C. Mean (+/- s.d.) peak powers were 1.99 +/- 0.72 watts per litre (W L(-1)) for type I fibres and 6.92 +/- 2.41 W L(-1), for type IIA fibres. The most notable feature, however, was the very large, sevenfold, range of power outputs within a single fibre type. This wide range was a consequence of variations in each of the three components determining power: P(0), V(max) and a/P(0). Within a single fibre type, P(0) varied threefold, and V(max) and a/P(0) two- to threefold. There were no obvious relationships between P(0) and V(max) or between P(0) and a/P(0). However, there was a suggestion of an inverse relationship between a/P(0) and V(max), the effect being to reduce, somewhat, the impact of differences in V(max) on peak power. In searching for the causes of variation in peak power of fibres of the same type, it appears likely that there are two factors, one that affects P(0) and another that leads to variation in both V(max) and a/P(0).