Fitness & Health, Los Angeles, TravelPost-Thanksgiving Fitness at the Ranch 4.0


As the leftover turkey wanes and your waistline waxes, remember this: There’s still hope — and discounted gym memberships — come New Year’s Day. But if you can’t wait until then, consider dipping into your savings and booking a quickie at The Ranch at Live Oak/Malibu‘s Ranch 4.0 (aka R4.0) program. According to the founders, it’s “life-changing.”

A shortened version of the Ranch’s original 7-day program, the R4.0 program is held Thursday through Monday for those who can’t get away from their lives for a full week but still want a “jump start” to their fitness, weight loss and wellness goals. It features up to 10 hours a day of rigorous activity, including four hours of morning mountain hiking, an afternoon of exercise classes, daily group yoga sessions, a daily massage, a diagnostic fitness test and a VO2 metabolic test. (Whew! I got a workout just typing that.)

While it may seem intense, this mind-body retreat/boot camp is far from rustic. Held at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village with the California Health & Longevity Institute (CHLI), it includes a daily 1400-calorie diet of gourmet vegetarian fare, a healthy nutrition class and cooking demo led by a registered dietitian/chef in what they call the “Wellness Kitchen,” plus lodging at the Four Seasons and access to The Spa at Four Seasons.

And, unlike the 7-day program, you can stay plugged in (meaning you can actually get Wi-Fi). The catch? It’s $3,800 per person. (I know, I know … but think of it this way: It’s a steal compared to the 7-day $6,200 price tag!)

We had a chance to interview Ranch founders Alex and Sue Glasscock about the 4.0 concept, and here’s what they had to say:

TDO: What was the impetus behind creating the R4.0 program?

Alex and Sue: Over the past three years of its existence, The Ranch’s 7-day program has proven to be overwhelmingly successful and its loyal following continues to grow each year. We can only accommodate up to 16 people per week and we’ve have had such a huge demand that we regularly sell out months in advance and sometimes have a waiting list. Due to its popularity, it was only natural for us to expand the program to additional enthusiasts. Plus, we wanted to offer a shorter program, specifically designed for those unable to be away for a full week from family or work, but still desiring to lose weight, discover more facts about their physical health and learn sustainable nutritional habits. We had the unique opportunity to partner with the CHLI at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, and joined forces to create R4.0. The new program … offers guests a 4-day version of the brand’s signature 7-day stay in a setting that allows for diagnostic testing and the ability to stay a little more connected to the outside world. This partnership pair’s expertise from two nationally recognized leaders in fitness, weight loss and sustainable lifestyle change and marks the expansion of The Ranch at Live Oak/Malibu to its first new location.

TDO: From an overall experience standpoint, what are the key differences between the 7-day and the 4-day programs? And what kind of results should you expect from each program?

Alex and Sue: At the 7-day program, guests will stay on-property at the breathtaking Ranch in Malibu, California which features private boutique accommodations for guests, unlike R4.0 where guests will stay at a luxury hotel, The Four Seasons Westlake Village. The 7-day program tends to be more immersive as you are staying on a quite secluded property, unlike R4.0, where you at in a hotel environment , either program gives you the same professional, knowledgeable and attentive staff. As guests are training for a full week, they tend to see more immediate weight loss results prior to departure, rather than the R4.0 program. R4.0 guests are asked to significantly adjust their nutritional habits the week prior to arrival for best results.

R4.0 guests will receive all the amenities of staying at the hotel including use of its World Class and awarded Spa and Fitness Facilities and its business center with computers, printers, etc. Unlike the 7-day program, R4.0 is in partnership with the CHLI at the hotel and guests receive innovative diagnostic medical testing, which is not available at the 7-day Ranch program. Guests leave prepared with new tools to carry out the Ranch’s recommended nutritional and fitness regimen for sustaining a healthy new lifestyle. The R4.0 program is definitely aimed at busy professionals looking to jump-start their routine. There are additional a la carte services such as complete physicals, medical testing and evaluation, dermatology, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, spa treatments, and energy healing are available before or after The Ranch R4.0 at an additional cost.

The “no-options” fitness routine is the same for both programs; guests will generally hike 8-10 miles a day, have daily work out classes and massages. Both programs offer impeccable fitness trainers and program directors as well as organic, vegetarian meals prepared daily by The Ranch’s executive chefs. (Note: Meals are served in the property’s picturesque greenhouse, shown above.)

The Ranch programming focuses on sustainable and measurable results through an immersive program that physically and mentally resets its guests. Women and men routinely lose 3%-6% of their body weight in the 7-day program along with substantial inches of fats loss and muscle gain. The R4.0 guest’s appear to have similar results over a [7-day] period when strictly following the pre and post-arrival recommendations.

TDO: Aside from cost, how should you decide which program is the best choice for you?

Alex and Sue: Guest’s considering The Ranch should evaluate which program is a better fit for them. Are they looking for a quick escape from an everyday hectic life to recalculate and kick-start a healthy regimen or do they have more time available to become completely immersed into a week-long “no-options” fitness and nutritional program? We definitely recommend they call us to discuss what options may be a best fit for them. Some prospective guests, who might be slightly intimidated or anxious about the 7-day program like the R4.0 first and then once they see they actually have the strength and confidence, opt for the 7-day program.

TDO: What types of clientele typically attend the 7-day program, and what new types of clientele are you hoping to appeal to with the 4-day program?

Alex and Sue: The commonality in our guests is that they are very special people. They are self-caring, motivated, eager and committed people who are willing to take time away from hectic schedules to detox, recalibrate their mind and body and to experience real change both mentally and physically. Guests vary in physical shapes and sizes, as well as ability. Some want to jump start a new  healthy lifestyle, while others want a tune-up to maintain or improve upon their fitness levels. Ages range from 17-78 with both male and female.  We are happily surprised how many parent/children couples come and experience this life changing experience together.

With the new 4.0 program, we are appealing to the newcomers who have never experienced The Ranch and are looking to test the waters, busy professionals who need a quick jump-start and loyal Ranch guests looking to supplement their visit to The Ranch with a shorter stay. The classic 7-day program is our most popular program at the moment, however, we just launched the program [in September], so it’s all very new.

TDO: What goes into planning the menus?

Alex and Sue (below): A cornerstone of The Ranch at Live Oak / Malibu experience, the vegetarian cuisine is a reflection of the Lifestyle Wellness Program’s core philosophy — Endurance, Nutrition and Wellness — recognizing that guests should enjoy the finest fresh organic produce to sustain and detoxify their bodies while helping them achieve their weight loss and fitness goals. Steeped in the tradition of artfully prepared, sustainable cooking, the no-options Mediterranean-based farm-to-plate menu at The Ranch at Live Oak elevates low calorie cuisine to a gourmet level.

sueandalexAt the foundation of every meal is the use of fresh ingredients harvested daily. Acting as an endless source of inspiration, The Ranch’s organic garden supplies fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs and shapes Executive Chef Rob Dalzell’s daily meal plan. With a 1,400/day-calorie-restricted diet, Dalzell draws upon the latest technology and techniques to satiate guests with thoughtful dishes that are nutritious and still invigorate the senses.

While guests endure an intense physical program, they will not feel deprived at meal time and are often amazed that a vegetarian, low calorie diet can support such a rigorous daily schedule. Lunches and dinners commonly feature two courses and include everything from roasted brussels sprouts with a balsamic glaze, a pear and toasted walnut salad to artfully prepared food such as butternut squash, mushroom lasagna and red quinoa pilaf with corn and kale. Through simple substitutions, Chef Dalzell creatively cuts calories and fat by using ingredients that replicate the flavor of their high calorie counterparts. For example, rather than dressing salads with oil-based vinaigrettes, he uses specially crafted juices to enhance the taste, maintain consistency and reduce the calories and fat of traditional dressings.

Upon request The Ranch’s high-flavor, low-calorie repertoire can be tailored in portion to guests’ specific needs and goals, catering to individual diet requirements and accommodating for any allergies.

Soooo … sound like your cup of tea? Great, because they have plenty of those. (Wink.) To make a reservation at The Ranch 4.0, call 888.777.2177 or visit

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