Jurga’s smile always lights up the PumpUp community and she’s very deserving of a grand and great PumpUp spotlight. She’s overcome a condition called PCOS and has tons of great advice for us. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail,” she says. Learn more about Jurga (@jurgast) down below!
Prior to joining PumpUp in May 2014, Jurga admits that she lacked community-based encouragement to help her pursue her goals. “I had no support on my fitness journey from anywhere. I wanted it and needed it so much,” she explains. Since then, it’s safe to say that she fits right into the PumpUp family. She’s an extremely positive force for many other members on the app.
When Jurga moved to the United States 2.5 years ago, she tells us that she had trouble adapting to a different lifestyle. “I gained weight instantly—reaching 133 lbs,” she divulges. “I was lost and didn’t know what to eat anymore. Even carrots weren’t the same.” Back home, Jurga reveals that she was a self-proclaimed ‘cardio junkie’, exercising on the elliptical, spinning classes, and different types of cardio except for running 4 times a week for 12 years straight. “It worked back then. But not anymore,” she says. On top of that, Jurga mentions that she also got Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a condition in which a female’s hormones are out of balance.
After learning about her PCOS, Jurga changed the way that she leads her active lifestyle. She laid off on her cardio first. In January 2014, she began strength training with weights. The transformation was dramatic: she went from 26% body fat to 21%, from 28% muscle mass to 34.9%, and lost almost 10 pounds in the process as well as her PCOS. “All winter and half of spring I was bulking. Then I started cardio, all kinds of it,” she explains. “I most importantly developed a habit to workout. It’s like brushing my teeth now!”
Jurga loves high intensity interval training, elliptical workouts, and cycling. She recently began playing recreational basketball as well. All of this activity helps her physical and mental health. “All of my jobs before were sedentary,” Jurga says. “Now that I’m a student again, it’s even harder to be active. Workouts help a lot.” She’s just started to incorporate ab exercises—some of them from PumpUp—into her routine and is excited to see definition in her core.
Growing up, Jurga ate healthy and all-organic homegrown foods. She highlights how this has helped her to maintain her present, and healthy eating habits. “I ate lots of veggies—I was almost vegetarian back then,” she recounts. “Now I’m eating meats and watching my protein intake carefully! I love it.”
She’s pumped up to work out bright and early in the mornings before her classes begin. “I love to do some biking, basketball, or running before college,” she gushes. After her courses, she frequently heads straight to the gym to perform heavy lifting routines. It isn’t easy to juggle a student schedule with a rigorous workout routine, but Jurga does it gracefully. “I plan my day carefully and try to stick to it,” she elaborates.
For those looking to lead a more healthy and active lifestyle, Jurga urges to plan rather than procrastinate. “Start making simple changes. Don’t wait for Monday—planning is key,” she counsels. “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.” Jurga also advises that different exercises and routines work best for different people and under different circumstances. “Be a detective. Try different things and find out what works for you,” she asserts. “[For example], low carb diets don’t work for everybody.”
“I’m weird but I don’t have any particular person whose image motivates me. I admire all hard working moms and dads who still find time to workout! Also, I’m inspired by all the dedicated people who don’t make excuses—they get their butts off the couch and move.”
Jurga’s clean eats
“I love greek yogurt or cottage cheese with strawberries! My favourite meal is grilled chicken with zucchini and mushrooms.”
“A river cuts through the rock not because of its power, but its persistence.”
More about Jurga
“I’m very positive person. I see only good everywhere. I’m Lithuanian! I was a social worker (that explains why I love people so much), and now I’m trying to get another specialty, majoring in dental hygiene. I love dogs and bunnies. Not a fan of cats.”
Follow Jurga on PumpUp and Instagram @jurgast