Ranch at Live Oak 4.0
Health-focused ranch program
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At a Glance
An abbreviated version of the much-lauded Ranch at Live Oak Malibu, the 4.0 Ranch program is based out of Four Seasons Westlake, attached to the California Health and Longevity Institute.
Sue and Alex Glasscock started the Ranch at Live Oak Malibu in 2010 and have since welcomed hundreds of grateful, exhausted, stressed-out guests to their weeklong program of detox, exercise and rest. In 2013, the need for a similar but abbreviated (and less remote) program resulted in the development of Ranch 4.0, a four-night, five-day package. Based at the Four Seasons Westlake Village, the program is similar to that at the main ranch but allows for more connectivity—cell phones get service here, and there is Wi-Fi throughout the property, whereas the Ranch at Malibu is fully off the grid—and luxury (this is a Four Seasons, after all). The hotel partners with the neighboring California Health and Longevity Institute, which provides a state-of-art fitness center, medical offices, spa treatment rooms and testing equipment, such as the Bod Pod, a machine that measures exact body-fat percentages.
Daily schedules involve between eight and ten hours of exercise including hikes that are typically around twelve miles long, core and strength training classes; yoga; stretching; and heavenly massages. Meals are low calorie (1300 to 1500 per day), vegan and sugar-, soy- and gluten-free. Mid-trek snacks consist of a single apple or eight almonds, plus sea salt to replenish the body’s resources. Caffeine and alcohol are prohibited, and drinking herbal tea and lots of water is encouraged. The hikes, while strenuous and long, are incredibly beautiful. Trails meander through forests, open plains, wildflower-filled meadows and the Zuma beaches.
There are never more than sixteen guests in a group, and as a result, deep bonds and friendships form. Between the mealtime conversations, sweating (and sometimes crying) together and the hours walking together on the trail, truths come out, and intimate thoughts are revealed, in the warmest and most welcoming way. For five days your mind is clear and free to learn about yourself, about health—each day ends with a talk by the ranch staff about nutrition, diet and reading food labels—and about life.
Who Should Stay
Guests of the Ranch need to be fans of hiking and extreme fitness regimes. Days start at 5:30 a.m. and are about pushing yourself to the limit. Those looking for a spa experience will be overwhelmed by the amount of exercise; hikes and exercise classes are not optional. The 4.0 program is a good option for those who need to have some level of connectivity to the office or home and can’t take off a full week. The 4.0 program runs from Thursday through Monday.