Whew, lots of good input - thanks everyone. I checked out all of your recommendations and will try to reply to all of the suggestions in one long message. Since I didn’t need to bump this thread and there were 193 views over two days, I assume others are interested in this topic as well.
First off, I am NOT a fitness, training or nutrion professional. I do however have a fair amount of expertise with computers and software. I have no relationship with any of the programs listed below.
What I was looking for was a single software solution that would let me track and compare progress for my diet, supplements and workouts. The reason for being able to track diet, supplements and exercise in one package is that these three areas are all linked and changes in one aspect can impact the others. Comparing progress across all three areas should be simple, comprehensive and quickly show the impact of changes in diet on performance, weight loss, etc.
Additionally, the program needed to be actively supported by it’s producer, modern and up-to-date and support new technology such as PDAs, etc. Price should be reasonable and ideally one should have the ability to check out a trial version of the program.
I reviewed the websites of over two dozen programs and actually downloaded the trial versions of six applications. It was pretty time consuming so I’ll share my layman’s impressions here.
I’ll cover the ones that were mentioned in the thread that I passed over.
IronTrainer 2 seemed ideal but it hasn’t been supported in well over a year so that was out and it’s website was down “for maintanence” for well over a week.
Fitness Assistant 1.0 doesn’t appear to EVER have been supported.
I did find trial versions of both of those programs on ZDnet but the risk of investing time in a deadend application was unacceptable to give them serious consideration or commitment.
BODYFITdb. $30 to buy but no trial version. Slick website but no version/update information and from it’s overview it seemed to be a bit simplistic. I skipped this one.
Bodycraft 6.01 by Dr. Fred “Dr. Squat” Hatfield. It had an interesting online tour and appeared to be full featured, supporting diet, supplements and workouts. The supplements module appeared to be the most powerful of the applications I checked out. Unfortunately, the trial version I repeatedly attempted to download failed at about 30% so I wasn’t able to actually run the software. I would really like to try this program out so I sent a message to their tech support and will update this thread once they reply and I can check out the program more thoroughly.
Now for the keepers. These are the one’s I think are worth checking out.
Nutribase 6.10. Holy features Batman! Talk about full featured nutrition software. If Drs. Berardi and Lowery aren’t using this beast, I’d be surprised as hell. Like Phill said, it tracks everything related to nutrion. With versions priced from $35 to $2500+ this seemed to be the top dog of nutrion software. The only compromise I could see is that it doesn’t seem suited to tracking more then aerobic exercises so didn’t meet my initial requirements. If you’re looking for the BEST and most complete nutrion logging and analysis program though, this seemed to me to be it.
On a budget? Fitday.com has a free web version of their nutrion logging program and Evenfit.com has a free downloadable PC application for tracking workouts. I didn’t check them out in depth but they seem to cover the basics and for those on a tight budget may want to look into this unrelated but complimentary pair of programs.
Crosstrainer v5.11 released 10 Jan 2006 with both a 2 person version for $50 and an unlimited version for $99. Written for PCs they claim it will run on the iEmulator for Macs. This version was the ZDNet Editor’s Choice and a 4.5 star rating from Exercise.About.Com. It accepts input from the Polar Heart Rate Monitors and there is a $19 Palm Pilot companion addon. It seemed to cover everything I could want to track for diet, supplements, exercise, overall health, weightloss and lean body mass, heartrate and even psychology. Tons of charts and reports, including niceties like shopping lists, work out sheets for the gym, etc. They had active support forums and excercise and diet trading sections. It seemed to be very well put together, easy to use - nearly intuitive, and reasonably priced.
Since I didn’t think I needed the drill-down-to-the-gnat’s-ass nutrition tracking of Nutribase v6.10 and I wanted to track the whole fitness picture in one program, Crosstrainer v5.11 is the one I decided to run with unless it turns out that Bodycraft is better once I get to evaulate it.
Let me know if I missed anything or made any errors and I’ll update this as quickly as possible.