The effects of exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) on the physiological, metabolic and perceptual responses during upper body arm cranking exercise are unknown. Nine physically active male participants performed 6 min of arm cranking exercise at ventilatory threshold (VT), followed by a time to exhaustion (TTE) trial at a workload corresponding to 80 % of the difference between VT and _V O2peak 48 h after bench pressing exercise (10 9 6 repetitions at 70 % one repetition maximum) or 20 min sitting (control). Reductions in isokinetic strength and increased muscle soreness of the elbow flexors and extensors were evident at 24 and 48 h after bench pressing exercise (P\0.05). Despite no change in _V O2, _VE, HR and blood lactate concentration ([Bla]) between conditions (P[0.05), rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was higher during the 6 min arm cranking after bench pressing exercise compared to the control condition (P\0.05). TTE was reduced in the treatment condition (207.2 ± 91.9 cf. 293.4 ± 75.6 s; P\0.05), as were end _V O2 (P\0.05) and [Bla] at 0, 5 and 10 min after exercise (P\0.05). RPE during the TTE trial was higher after bench pressing (P\0.05), although end RPE was not different between conditions (P[0.05). This study provides evidence that EIMD caused by bench pressing exercise increases the sense of effort during arm cranking exercise that leads to a reduced exercise tolerance. The findings have implications for individuals participating in concurrent endurance and resistance training of the upper body.