I so agree with JOE.
Often these “high risk” folks are very low to no activity persons so their exercise capacity hence tolerance is really low.
Just getting them to move regularly, more than they have been accustomed to,is a great starting point and they “feel” so much better thereafter which in itself is a great “motivator”.
We may then do all the various fitness assessments etc.etc.as their exercise tolerance improves and evolve in the program.
There are no assessments that I do not do…eventually. The first asssessment I do is to determine the client’s current status. This determines which if any “fitness assessments” will be done at that time. While I do not adhere to a “one size fits all” program design, all new clients initiate their programs with ROM exercises and movement based programming designed to expose a variety of imbalances and issues. Many of which haven’t been noticed by the client, but are already doing damage. Even the most athletic clients are not immune to harmful movement patterns and habits. Most can be corrected before there is irreversible damage. And those that are beyond being reversed, can be slowed or stabilized.
Assessments are tools. Just like using tools to repair a treadmill, you can’t use them out of the order in which they are needed. Which, when, and why are the questions that will guide my process with each client.