MONTREAL — Was it the early wake-up call and the two-hour drive that blocked our view? We had to rub our eyes to make sure it wasn’t. It was indeed Régis Cibasu, at least the 34-pound skinny version of this athlete.
The difference is amazing and it’s obvious. During the offseason, the Montreal Alouettes player agreed to fully implement the transformation proposed by general manager Danny Maciocia and head coach Khari Jones.
“Danny and Khari called me after last season and asked me to lose some weight and told me that at the special teams level and in attack it would help me a lot to have more commitment and a chance to get down the field see,” Cibasu explained.
We wanted to know more about this story when we saw the number 83 at the Alouettes training camp in Trois-Rivières. In 2021, Cibasu had accepted the assignment to practice as a central defender. He resumed his role as receiver that year, but on condition that he be “leaner”. Using quotes is fine as Cibasu still weighs 232 pounds and is 6ft 3in tall.
“I approached it with the mentality of losing most of the weight but staying strong because if I have to block big guys like defensive ends, I have to be able to do it. But I had to get light enough to run the courses and be more versatile,” said the former University of Montreal carabiner.
When recounting this transformation, Cibasu flashes his signature wide smile. But this project sometimes caused him to lose this charismatic tool.
“I lost over 30 kilos, it wasn’t easy,” he admits with a laugh. It’s definitely a big challenge. You can say to yourself, “Maybe you’re not very interested in me.” But I chose to be positive about everything, I figured losing the extra weight wouldn’t be bad for me. It might just help me physically and mentally and I can already see it,” he said.
After excelling with the Carabins, Cibasu sought to further his fortune for the NFL. This attempt failed and he has since had to devote himself to a limited role in the CFL. In two seasons at the Canadian circuit, he had yet to catch a single assist. His patience was rewarded with his first completed pass in the second game of the season against Toronto.
“Thanks to this change, I can now be on the pitch more often for the special teams and that helps me a lot. As a Canadian you often want to play on special teams, show what you can do and maybe have more chances down the line later on,” agreed the man, who played his rookie season with the Argonauts.
Cibasu didn’t have to weigh the pros and cons for long.
“I told myself these are sacrifices I made on myself. Football doesn’t last long so why not do it and put the best chance on my side. I trained a lot, played basketball a lot and really changed my diet. To be honest, I didn’t eat very well, I cut out all the junk and I took my training seriously,” said the colossus.
Cibasu would like to thank his personal trainer at Gordo Performance and Pierre-Olivier Breault, the Alouettes’ strength and conditioning coach.
“I am very grateful for their help. »
Speaking of recognition, he’s thrilled to see his teammates notice a huge difference. Some eventually failed to recognize it as it melted like snow in the sun.
“Last year I was almost a little chubby. You’ll see it right in the video when we do special forces. I better move! When I arrived at the camp, I have Flew on special forces. It was also better with the one-to-one exercises for the recipients. Everyone said to me ‘Wow, you’ve really lost weight’. When others tell you it only shows in the way I walk on the pitch, then you know you’ve done a great job. As an athlete, you like to hear compliments like that. That’s gratifying,” confirmed Cibasu.
His teammate Marc-Antoine Dequoy, a sporty example in his own way, can confirm that.
“His work ethic is amazing and he’s quite an athlete. If that doesn’t show a player’s dedication, I don’t know what does. That’s the kind of mentality and dedication you want in your team,” boasted the Alouettes’ confident start.
With the Carbines, Cibasu earned several offensive honors and his current weight is close to that of the Blues era (242 pounds). However, he feels stronger and faster. His offensive performance won’t return to past levels, but we can bet he’ll capture his first balloons this season. Especially since the Alouettes are now counting on two Canadian receivers in their starting XI.
“Exactly, I have to be prepared for all eventualities. If Hergy (Mayala) or Kaion (Julien-Grant) need a break, I have to be ready,” said Cibasu, who will then realize all the more that the sacrifice was worth it.