Keeping Track

Training for a competition is a science experiment. There is no ‘one size fits all‘ strategy as every person is different and responds to food, diet, and training differently.

When I first started training I just started to eat clean and ditched most of the junk food from my life. Things like ice cream, Doritos, mini eggs, and bacon were immediately cut out of my diet despite my love affair with them.

I read up on tons of different diets and tried a few of them. Then I realized a ‘diet‘ won’t work. Instead of dieting, I started to eat foods that work for my body and with the help of Dr. Joe sorted out the macros that get me results. Eating a huge salad filled with 6 different vegetables looks amazing, but was not nearly as amazing as my bloated stomach after eating it. Some days I would look 6 months pregnant 45 minutes after eating an Epic Salad.

Cross that one off the list of ‘Foods That Donloree Eats‘!

Its important to keep track of your data while conducting your Figure Competitor science experiment. By knowing what you ate, how you felt, what you trained, measurements, weight, and anything else pertinent makes it easy to make decisions on what to do next and track your progress.

There are tons of resources, website, and iPhone apps out there that can help, but I stick to the basics.

Daily Food Journal

I have a small journal where I write every single thing that goes in my mouth every single day. Even on the days when I find myself eating nut butter like a crazy woman. Its small and leaves room in my purse for my many meals that I haul around with me every day.

Daily Food Journal

I've been keeping track since December 2009. It was daunting at first, but now I do it without batting an eye.

I also keep track of my hours of sleep, medications, weight, supplements, length of workout, and general notes on tiredness, hunger, and mood.

Then all of my my meals and the corresponding macros are put into an excel spreadsheet and emailed off to my coach every evening.

After nearly a year of doing this it only takes a few minutes a day to complete.

Weekly Summary

Each week I email a summary of my macros, weight, training, cardio and what is going on with me to my coach. Sometimes there are food increases and decreases, added cardio, or tweaks to the distribution of food; other times we just keep going ahead full steam. I have yet to have cardio decreased…apparently some women out there have to stop doing cardio because they just get lean too fast. Oh what a problem to have!

This is a fabulous resource for forums, information, connection with other competitors, supplements, and a way to track your progress. Entering your measurements and lifting stats here gives you pretty charts and graphs that are fun to look at.


Where else can you post pictures of yourself right after you workout before you've showered and get tons of fabulous compliments? Got to love the community of bodybuilders!

Workout Binder

I print out my workouts as designed by Joe’s team for me and haul them around the gym with me while working out.  I am the woman with the samurai-esque hairdo, the iPod turned up all the way, a semi scowl on her brow, and odd pieces of paper and a pen in hand.

Notes about each workout are taken while I lift and then communicated back to my coach. I keep all my workouts in a binder to refer back to and see how I am improving.

Perhaps a little OCD, but it makes me happy.

How do you keep track of your science experiment? Is there a fabulous iPhone app out there that I am missing?

Happy macro counting, training, and tracking everyone!

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  1. Tiffany Miller says

    I blog because I find I get bored with diaries and I don’t keep them up. I too send a weekly summary to my coach, which he seems to not tweak at all, this must mean I’m on the right track.

    Pictures I don’t send as often, in fact I’m guilty of not sending photos as often as I should because I always seem to find an excuse to not do it. It’s not that don’t want to walk on a stage one day in my bikini, it more like I want to hold off so that when I do send photos, there are more visible results. Crazy sounding isn’t it?

    • bikiniorbust says

      I totally get that. I need to take pictures more often because later I am ALWAYS happy to have them. So when I hate my pictures I realize that 3 or 6 months from now I am going to LOVE having them. 🙂

  2. Love it. I have kept a workout journal. But tomorrow will be the first day I do a food journal. Food is my struggle, therefore it will be food that I laser focus on this time around. Eeek. Wish me luck.

  3. Alli Siemens says

    Oh you would be so proud of me lately with my food journal! I am completely keeping track of every ‘.1’ of a macro – I feel so good (and slightly obsessive) about it! But I know now how important that is! I do feel like a “science experiment”!

    • bikiniorbust says

      Yup, we are totally science experiments and you get to be the ‘mad scientist’. 🙂 My mad scientist wears very cute lulu outfits. hah!

  4. I love journaling and keeping track of everything i do. It keeps me sane! It also keeps me highly accountable that way i cant say i dont know whats going on when i hit a plateau. I look at my logs and make adjustments. Great post!

  5. Wow- you are my hero. I’m organized and a bit OCD but I need to be Donloree organized and OCD =)

  6. Ever since I started competing, I’ve kept a prep journal. I don’t track foods in the off-season; just when I’m in prep. Since each prep is different, they’re helpful reference tools. I wish I would’ve been more thorough at times, especially tracking how my body responded to different foods. Especially at this point, where we’re completely re-doing my diet, it’d be nice to see how my body responded to different foods in the past. Oh well – now I’ve learned to track things a bit more thoroughly!

  7. I have always kept a food journal and within the last year or so I began using a workout journal… However, I didn’t like that everything was in so many different places so I began making a private blog that only I can see (and I invite my trainer to be able to see it – Although, I know he rarely checks it) that includes everything…. My totals in food for the day, workouts, feelings, inspiration, etc. 🙂

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