We’re excited to welcome former Ranch instructor, Jose Luis Beltran, back to Rancho La Puerta. Not only is he back at The Ranch teaching, but he is also now our Fitness Manager and oversees all of our fitness classes and activities. Jose Luis is returning from Pennsylvania where he spent the past eight years as the co-owner and manager of a training studio that catered to elite athletes.
Jose Luis is a longtime member of The Ranch family; his grandfather and both of his parents worked at The Ranch for many years. We hope you enjoy his interesting Ranch history and experience in the world of fitness in the interview below!
Kate Bello: What is your history with Rancho La Puerta (RLP)?
Jose Luis Beltran: My history with RLP originated with my grandmother. My grandmother was one of the first employees here. Her name is Petra and after working here for 30 years or so, she brought my dad, Jose Lucas, here and eventually my dad began working at The Ranch at age 18 or 19 years old. RLP is the place where he met my mom. My mom, Maria Luis, grew up in San Diego and finished college in San Diego. Afterward she moved to The Ranch and met my dad here. So I can say I was here when I was in my mom’s belly and I grew up coming here every year and I remember loving the place. I thought it was a magical place. One of my favorite things was going and sneaking into the classes. It was always really interesting. I thought that the people were doing fun things. They were always happy and that’s the picture I have of The Ranch at a very young age.
Then my first year working at The Ranch was when I was 19 years old. I worked here for seven years doing different activities in different departments, and assisting with the fitness classes that we used to offer in the 90s. It was my passion; it was something that I grew up wanting to do and loving. I’ve always played sports so it was something that I thought would be a dream come true to be able to teach a class here at The Ranch and I started doing it at a very young age. Then I stopped seven years after because I decided to go to school in San Diego and New York and eventually did other projects before I decided to move back. This was about ten years after I left that I decided to move back. So now this is my eighth month back at The Ranch.
I’m excited to be here, I really love it. I was far away, but I felt like I left my soul here. I am the third generation here at The Ranch. Both of my parents worked here for over 40 years and they both have retired as well. It’s truly a special place for me; it means a lot to be back and to be able to give back to a place that has given me so much.
KB: You said you played sports when you were younger, how did you get interested in fitness?
JLB: That’s a great question. My interest was a seed that my dad planted in me. He was a fitness enthusiast. He was always passionate about fitness, especially running and boxing. Every Saturday he would go to Mt. Kuchumaa. He would go to the top of the mountain and then he would be back by 7:30 for breakfast with us. And he was always happy and always motivated and would constantly talk to me about the importance of staying healthy and doing things that will benefit your body and will keep your mind and spirit healthy and happy. I remember that I did struggle and like Dad, I grew up being a big boy. I wasn’t overweight, but just a big boy. And I would rather play sports than go with him hiking and running.
I remember my passion started with basketball – I played on two teams. I also played soccer on my school team league in Tecate. Every year I would go to Los Angeles to spend summer with my extended family and I would play basketball and soccer in L.A. I was always active in all kinds of sports from baseball to soccer to basketball. When I turned 16, I remember being really tired of feeling like a big boy. I remember wanting to be like the rest of my friends; fast and agile, but I was just not genetically predisposed to have that type of body. I remember how fast they were and how they were very good in a very different way when it came to playing sports. I also remember my dad told me I should go to the running track every morning. So I tried that and I couldn’t do one loop. By the end of that loop my heart was coming out of my mouth. That was at the age of 16.
Then I enrolled in martial arts and I continued to do that for six years. That changed my body completely. I started to transform my body and that opened up so many other doors. By the age of 18, I was modeling in Mexico City and New York. I realized that I wanted to look different. Not only feel, but also look different. I was good at sports and I was healthy, but I didn’t like the way I looked initially. My dad had to do a lot with initiating and planting that seed in me and then I decided that I wanted to keep that as part of my life. At the age of 18 I also started lifting weights. I was very passionate about strength training and I combined that with all different kinds of sports.
KB: What classes do you teach here at The Ranch?
JLB: I teach many different classes such as cardio muscle blast, foam roller, kettle bells, TRX combo, TRX cardio, TRX basics, sculpt and strengthen classes, body bar plus, and parkour. I love hiking and doing all the hikes. And what else am I missing? Release and mobilize! I really love teaching all different kinds of classes here.
KB: What fitness tips do you have for our guests while they’re staying here at The Ranch?
JLB: We run into many different kinds of guests that want so many different things. The Ranch offers the ability for them to explore and feel safe and to try things they haven’t done. It’s a very safe environment. We have the best fitness professionals in the industry and they are amazing. My goal is for our team to coach people into taking ownership of their own fitness program and to truly take The Ranch experience home. Part of our job is to give people the tools and confidence to use their own bodies as their own machines.
If they’re traveling and don’t have the ability to go to a gym, how can they make their bodies their own machine? How can they stay active? The Ranch is a wonderful place where we teach you that a fitness program doesn’t just consist of lifting weights. It consists of so many different elements; balance coordination, agility, speed, power endurance, reactive exercises, and corrective exercises. We truly try to teach people how to prioritize that; how they can incorporate each one of those elements and create what we always look for, which is balance. Which is the way we do everything in life.
Taking ownership of our own fitness program and truly taking it to the next level by protecting our bodies and balancing everything that we do is very important. So is stimulating not only our bodies, but also our central nervous system. Not stressing it, but stretching it. We always talk about the mind-body connection and we truly try to get people to understand what that is. It is finding a way to stimulate your mind and be creative and to know how to change your program, and when to change it. It’s wonderful that we offer so many different classes with so many different instructors. Each has a unique style, and is always doing something interesting and fun. And that’s what people love about The Ranch. People may come feeling insecure and then leave very happy. That’s one of the biggest things that puts a smile on the fitness staff’s faces; to see people happy, content and not wanting to leave.
KB: What’s your favorite music to work out to?
JLB: I have diverse taste when it comes to music. I love electronic music, but I also love 60s and the 80s. I love to combine different things. It depends on the class that I’m teaching. If I’m teaching a muscle cardio blast class or a circuit training class, I like something a little faster paced, but that is my personal preference. I like to offer the option of 60s music to my group fitness sessions. Still, it depends on the group of people I have and the type of class. I like broken beats. I love international music, different kinds of styles, Brazilian, definitely American music. I love American music, which I like to combine with Latin American beats too. I just mix it up!
KB: Thanks so much for chatting with me today Jose Luis!
JLB: My pleasure!