In addition to recognizing risks, it’s also important to recognize the individual GOALS and then use appropriate assessments.
How many people – healthy or otherwise – are really interested in their VO2max? Lactate threshold? Heart rate recovery time? Bench press 1RM? Degrees of internal rotation of [name your favorite joint]?
While there are numerous reasons for trainers to have understanding of these (and other) objective measurement tools, in my experience, most people have very subjective goals – they simply want to “look” or “feel” better.
When “feeling” is what’s most important, measure it! Start with a question like “how do you FEEL about your nutrition today?” or “how do you FEEL your workout went today?”
Have ’em answer on a scale of 1 to 10… or a sad-to-smiley face continuum 🙂 Watch how the trend changes over time.
When “look” is the goal, how much risk is there in taking regular progress photos? Using a ‘standardized’ favorite outfit as a measuring stick?
Instead of using high-risk – or inappropriate – assessment tools just because YOU like/understand them, the latest corporate buzz-speak for this is “meet them where they are.”
If fitness really is a journey, you can use your other assessment tools as strategic “lookout points” along the way.