The Light Blues midfielder played on at the top level with Hearts until his late 30s due to the energy-sapping workouts.
The game has changed since his heyday and professional clubs now favour a more scientific approach to fitness and training.
But the Gers great believes his former club's current success on the field is the result of proper preparation during the summer months.
Ally McCoist's side has won its opening eight SPFL League One matches - scoring 34 goals and conceding just two in the process.
There is growing talk of them enjoying a 'Perfect Season' and going the entire league campaign without drawing or losing a game.
It is all far removed from last term when the Glasgow giants struggled in the bottom tier of Scottish football and crashed to some humiliating results.
MacDonald, who works in the hospitality suites at Ibrox on match days, believes the difference is in the build-up the team had to the new season.
He thinks that will enable Rangers, who return to league action when they take on Brechin City at Glebe Park today, to maintain their stunning form.
"There is definitely a lot more stability at the club this year," said Doddie. "The football is a lot better. It is a lot better on the eye. It is a lot better for the supporters.
"Ally had a lot to deal with last season. He only had six players to start with. If you don't get a pre-season with some of your players then you are going to struggle.
"They didn't have a good pre-season last year because they didn't have players. I actually think that, all things considered, they did extremely well.
"Okay, the team didn't play the prettiest football ever in the Third Division. But it was all about results last season. They did what they had to do."
He continued: "There is no question the difference this season has been down to getting a pre-season.
"When I worked at Rangers under Jock Wallace you had a pre-season - and then you had a pre-season during the season. A fortnight before we played big European ties we would go back down to Gullane.
"The Rangers boys had a break last weekend because of the international games. If that had happened when big Jock was in charge he would have had the players down to Gullane for sure.
"But it worked for Jock and it worked for me and many others at the club. Sandy Jardine and I went on to play for Hearts after leaving Rangers.
"Sandy played until he was 39 and I played until I was 37. That said, I was probably only getting into the side because I was picking the team at the time!
"Seriously, though, I still had a bit of fitness there. For me, the importance of pre- season and training cannot be underestimated."
MacDonald, a dynamic box-to-box player with his boyhood heroes Rangers during the 1970s, believes Ian Black has benefited greatly from the change.
Despite serving a ban for breaching SFA gambling regulations, Black has been one of McCoist's most consistent performers.
The former Inverness and Hearts man has struck up an impressive partnership with new signing Nicky Law in central midfield.
MacDonald said: "I have been impressed with Ian this season. Very much so. I think Nicky complements him as well. They have an understanding and they help each other.
"I was the type of player who just loved to get forward into the opposition box - so we obviously needed to have somebody sitting to allow me to do that.
"Having said that, I was always back in my own box quickly. I was a bye-line to bye-line player really. But I needed somebody to cover for me. Nicky has Ian to do that for him."
He added: "The young kids, the likes of Lewis Macleod, have obviously been great. But Ian and Nicky have a bit of experience and that is very important.
"They have Lee McCulloch behind them organising everybody and that has been great for the team.
"The boy Macleod has definitely got something different. You can't be too predictable and he certainly isn't.
"The good thing about him is that he has been scoring goals. That is the way to get recognised. He does that when you least expect it."
MacDonald, who managed Hearts and Airdrie with considerable success after hanging up his boots, believes McCoist and his backroom team deserve praise for getting the team to gel quickly.
He added: "It is good to see the team coming on. The backroom staff have put a lot of work into it this year. They knew it was going to be a lot more difficult.
"They had to get all of the new players who have come in to click and they have done that really well. It is like a competition among them scoring goals and making passes."