The modern urban lifestyle is fast paced and takes excesses in its stride as part of life. A young body adjusts to it almost instinctively but with the ageing process setting in the body starts reacting negatively and you start thinking that one must do something to regain the fitness of youth. Since it is a definite demand there are solution providers with different programs, packages and budgets. Generally the desire and even the expectation by the middle aged, busy and successful professional, is of instant results. To match that need there are short duration radical programs that promise dramatic results. The Ranch at Live Oak, Malibu offers one such program. They claim it to be the only weeklong results oriented, intensive fitness and wellness program of its kind. The goal of the program is to recalibrate the physical system of the guests through intensive outdoor physical activity and a highly structured nutritional diet. They warn you in advance that it is not a typical spa or resort. They prefer to call the Ranch a luxury boot camp which is completely focused on meeting the fitness, nutritional, weight loss and detox goals through their specialized program. Their program consists of hiking, core and ab workouts, body toning and sculpting, weights, yoga sessions and a strict calibrated vegetarian diet. It looks simple and straightforward on paper but actually going through the program is something else all together.
The hiking in Santa Monica Mountains ceases to be a pleasant experience as the hike stretches to several hours taking your body by surprise and even resulting in some hikers vomiting repeatedly. The Ranch gives a preparation plan to its guests one month in advance to prepare with daily hikes and yoga and to abstain from caffeine, alcohol, sugar, artificial sweeteners and meat. It isn’t easy to change your routine and habits suddenly so generally none of the guests who arrive at The Ranch are prepared as per the plan. The guests are also surprised by the rigidity of the program with no exemptions and to find that the lunch prepared by Chef Kurt is a toy-size salad of chickpeas and onions. The snack could simply be a fresh green apple or three almonds with two cashews. It looks as if you won’t last the entire week but as the days go by and the body actually gets detoxified, it starts adjusting rapidly and by the end of the week you almost start enjoying the strenuous schedule and the vegan diet.
The Ranch was founded just six months ago. It is not one of the drug-rehab centers that dot the Malibu hills. It is a rehab of sorts as it is in the detoxification business. They take in up to 14 guests a week and detach them compulsorily from the daily routine of cell phones, email, Diet Cokes and steak dinners washed down with Cabernet. The 120 acre Ranch is tucked into the Santa Monica Mountains. The profile of its guests are generally middle aged wealthy A-listers who are provided with Spartan but well appointed private cottages. The niceties end there and every aspect of the program is mandatory for everyone and the Ranch does not know tow to its heavy hitting clientele. At $5,600 for the week it is worth it if you get the result you are looking for.