If there’s one person who lives for adventure, it’s Christine Bauman. When she’s not out riding motorcycles, off-roading in her Jeep, or camping with her husky, she’s working as a personal trainer who specializes in a corrective approach to fitness, but you’ll probably recognize her as a long-time 5.11 brand ambassador.
With the launch of our new Summer 2022 Women’s Product Line, we sat down with Christine to ask her how she chooses new gear and to learn more about her unique approach to personal training:
Q: Tell us about yourself: who you are, where you’re from, your interests, and how you got into personal training.
“Hey guys! My name is Christine Bauman, I grew up in a super small town just outside of Snoqualmie in Washington state. With endless wilderness as a back yard, I grew up climbing trees, building forts, riding horses and getting lost in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. My childhood was also immersed in gardening, building and tinkering; if something was broken, I was encouraged to take it apart and fix it be it cars, electronics, building a roof rack for my first Jeep out of a fence gate to building barns, waterfalls or homes.
My favorite place to be is in nature, so at 17 when the opportunity to move to Costa Rica to work on an ecological preserve presented itself, I dropped everything and left. When I came back, I knew I was done with the Pacific Northwest but wanted to make sure I could support myself when I moved to Los Angeles. Helping people was always close to my heart, so I enrolled in and graduated from a clinical massage therapy school before I made my way down to California.
Those experiences shaped who am today. I am still constantly looking to learn and explore, which inspired me to pursue rock climbing, backpacking, mountaineering, scuba diving, hiking, and motorcycles. I’m also still driven to take apart and fix anything that may not be working efficiently which led me to specialize in corrective exercise as a personal trainer. Massage could give someone relief for a few weeks or a month, but as soon as they go back to whatever movement pattern created the muscular imbalance, the pain would return and they would be back on my table. I wanted to eliminate their pain and educate them on how to listen to their body, so they had the tools to do a tune-up whenever they needed it.”
Q: What are your favorite pieces of 5.11 gear and how do you use them?
“Oh geez, too many to count! The Evo 8” Boot is my go-to shoe—whether I am riding my motorcycle, falling trees, or winter snowshoeing—they are just so darn comfortable and still kicking after 5 years and a couple of crashes. The Operator Axe and Ferro Knife are in my Jeep at all times and make camping/campfires super quick and efficient. I live in the Kaia Tights whether I’m training clients, hiking, or doing body work. As outdoorsy as I am, I also love a good night out, and the Maven Jacket is almost always my last layer paired with stilettos. The last thing would be the AMP24 Backpack. That goes everywhere with me and makes a perfect day pack for me and the dog, or I strap it to my sissy bar on long rides.”
Q: What are the most important qualities you look for when shopping for new gear or clothing?
A: “At this point it’s all about being multifunctional and of great quality. I want to depend on my gear and spend the trip exploring, not fixing gear. Plus, I want to minimize my footprint and not have to toss an item out that is unfixable year after year.”
Q: What are some qualities you look for in riding gear?
A: “Safe, comfortable, and stylish in that order. When I totaled my bike, I was in the Evo 8” boots as well as armored gloves from 5.11 and those definitely saved my ankles and hands.”
Q: What’s the first thing you look for in your workout clothing and footwear?
“Fit, comfort, and style. Nothing can ruin a hike or workout quicker than an Ill-fitting shoe causing blisters or a pinched nerve. Workout clothes have to be comfortable, stylish, and functional. If I’m going for a trail run, I’m not going to bring a backpack, so having perfectly positioned pockets that hold my pocketknife, phone and keys for emergencies are essential.”
Q: Your training approach is all about balance. What would you say are some health or fitness factors that most of us have too much or not enough of?
A: “Motivation is the first thing that comes to mind. A lot of people don’t have natural motivation to keep their body in shape. When they do have small bouts of it, they tend to overdo it and cause pain or injury which then discourages them from trying and creates a vicious cycle.
On the other end of the spectrum, the people that have motivation tend to stay hyper-focused on ONE activity they enjoy. This eventually causes muscular imbalances and injuries. Our bodies are extremely complex and not designed to do one activity over and over-and-over again. So, creating a balanced workout program is all about understanding body mechanics and human movement science to find multiple things you may enjoy that balance each other out. For example, rock climbing uses a lot of the opposite muscles that the massage therapy requires. When I don’t practice both of these, my wrists become tight and inflamed and don’t allow me to enjoy either of them.”
Q: Your training method also focuses on imbalances/dysfunctions. What are these exactly, and how can we avoid them?
“Postural imbalances and dysfunctions are created either after injury, or repetitive movements that our bodies are not designed to do. By far the most common would be due to the amount of sitting the majority of people do.
Most of us sleep in some form of hip flexion, then get up and walk over to the breakfast table and sit down only to get up and walk out to the car and sit down on the way to work. Then get up and walk to their desks to sit down all day, to then get up and go back to the car where you sit, to get out of the car and back to the dining room table to sit and then get up and go to the couch to sit for the rest of the day.
When you force your body into a position for this long it tries to adapt to this new norm by throwing down extra collagen fibers on certain muscles to help maintain that position. The problem with this is you are losing flexibility due to the restraint of the collagen fibers that are trying to help that static position. This eventually leads to altered neurological dynamics where certain muscles no longer fire.
The majority of lower back pain, knee pain, and other injuries that are brought to me can be fixed by simply addressing the soft tissue restraints with myofascial work like a foam roller, static and dynamic stretching as well as activation techniques.”
Q: What does “Always Be Ready” mean to you?
“Always be ready to me is to have gear that not only is comfortable and stylish but is multifunctional. If the opportunity comes up to go rock climbing, hiking, motorcycle riding, or horseback riding, I can say ‘Hell yes!’ I know I have gear that has my back, instead of missing out on great moments with friends or having to make an extra trip home to make sure I have gear that suits the adventure—Pura Vida!”
Learn more about Christine’s training at https://perfectlybalancedbody.com or follow her on Instagram @christinevbauman.
Shop Christine’s gear picks through the links below:
Evo 8” Boot: https://www.511tactical.com/evo-8-cst-boot.html
Kaia Tight: https://www.511tactical.com/kaia-tight.html
Maven Jacket: https://www.511tactical.com/maven-jacket.html
Hard Times Gloves: https://www.511tactical.com/hard-times-glove.html