Design By Reid Graham

Personal training has become a popular pastime during the COVID-19 pandemic. When the Center for Disease Control (CDC) implemented stay-at-home orders in March 2020, the public turned to online workout experiences and home gyms to keep in shape. 

With the increased demand for personal training, the fitness industry has become saturated with trainers. In order to gain clients, trainers have to be able to bring something new to the table.

Business junior Sebastien Patiño, founder of Bastion LLC and fitness and nutrition coach, said he first got involved with fitness training when he became a certified personal trainer his freshman year. Patiño worked as a trainer for two and a half years but said he felt restricted by the number of people he could train and the way he could train them.

“I could only train a few people per day and only had to go into the gym for an hour,” Patiño said. “I realized there’s definitely more opportunity here. My peers were also struggling to get a stable stream of clients.”

Patiño said his training experience gave him the idea for Bastion. Bastion is an online coaching experience rather than a one-time session, Patiño said.

“You have this expert consultant with you basically 24/7, and they’re messaging you pretty much every day, and they are updating your exercise routine and nutrition plan weekly,” Patiño said. “With a personal trainer, you’re only paying for a one-hour session, and (trainers) don’t really pay attention to you for the rest of the day or even the rest of the week. You’re not really changing your lifestyle.”

Patiño named the company Bastion because the definition of the word resonated with him and spoke to the values behind his company. Bastion is defined as a place or person that strongly defends certain principles, values and beliefs. 

“(The meaning behind ‘Bastion’) is something that I’ve always stood for,” Patiño said. “It’s representative of the fitness realm because I really want to uphold these values, and if you want to make consistent progress, you want to be disciplined. I kind of stumbled across that word, and it just seemed like the perfect fit.”

Engineering junior Eddie Jung, chief operating officer of Bastion LLC, said he was friends with Patiño prior to joining the team, and he helped Patiño in the early stages of his business venture. Jung said the main reason why he and Patiño love fitness is because of the community of growth they found in the gym.

“When you go to the gym, you see people,” Jung said. “No matter what their flaws are, you know that they’re going to the gym, which means that they’re at least trying to improve themselves in some way. That implies to me that these people want to grow in some way, which is a beautiful concept.”

Jung said he believes Bastion is the future of personalized fitness because he has seen the effects Bastion has had on a few of his roommates.

“(My roommates) are always talking about how great (Bastion) is,” Jung said. “We just see all these really great results, and we see the community being brought together. 

Engineering junior Dion Li, one of Jung’s roommates, said although he worked out in high school and a bit during freshman year, he had a hard time fitting workouts into his schedule at the University. Li said he decided to try out Bastion to see if it was something he would like.

“I was extremely busy with academics, but I wanted to try to fit working out into my schedule in an efficient way,” Li said. “It was great because this program let me work around my schedule, and the coaches would make workout plans that fit my needs. I would even record videos for my trainer, and he would write extremely detailed responses about how to correct my form.” 

Patiño said the overwhelming amount of fitness information onlinemakes working out hard for people to navigate. He said Bastion aims to provide accessible fitness guidance for people who need it and employ motivated coaches to give such guidance to them.

“Having an accessible service and having an expert walk you through every step of the way is a lot more convenient,” Patiño said. “I’m actually going out and vetting coaches … in order to find an actual coach that people can trust, rather than some random listing online. I’m looking for people who genuinely enjoy the process and are passionate about changing people’s lives.”

Going forward, Patiño said he wants to set up a portal for users and finalize hiring coaches across the nation.

“I am working on getting a platform set up on the website so that there’s an actual client and coach portal,” Patiño said. “Similar to the teacher and student portal that Canvas has, but the coach can manage their program and give resources to their clients.”

Li said he got better results from the past two months working with Bastion than he has with his typical workout regimen in the past year.

“This is currently my second month into it, and I feel like I’m always learning more,” Li said. “I actually even recommended this to my mom, and she started using this program as well. I recommend it to anyone, even if they just want some tips on working out or if they want to start getting into working out. It’s been extremely helpful.”

Summer News Editor Sejal Patil can be reached at