MONTREAL – Was it the early wake-up call and the two-hour drive that were obscuring our sight? We had to rub our eyes to make sure that was not the case. It was indeed Régis Cibasu, at least the 34-pound slim version of this athlete.
The difference is amazing and it is obvious. During the off-season, the Montreal Alouettes player agreed to fully embark on the transformation proposed by general manager Danny Maciocia and head coach Khari Jones.
“Danny and Khari called me after last season and they asked me to lose some weight, telling me that it would greatly help me at the special teams level and in attack to have more involvement and chance to see the pitch,” Cibasu explained.
We wanted to know more about this story as soon as we saw number 83 at the Alouettes’ training camp in Trois-Rivières. In 2021, Cibasu had accepted the mission to practice as a centre-back. This year, he resumed his role as receiver, but on condition of being more “slender”. The use of quotes is in order because Cibasu still weighs 232 pounds and is six foot three inches tall.
“I approached it with the mentality of losing the most 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 become light enough to run the tracks and be more versatile, ”described the former Carabins from the University of Montreal.
When recounting this transformation, Cibasu displays his characteristic big smile. But this project sometimes caused him to lose this charismatic tool.
“I lost over 30 pounds, it wasn’t easy,” he admits, laughing. It’s definitely a big challenge. You can say to yourself, ‘Maybe they don’t have a great interest in me’. But I chose to see it all positively, I figured it wouldn’t be a bad thing for me to lose the extra weight. It could just help me physically and mentally and I can already see it,” he said.
After excelling with the Carabins, Cibasu attempted to promote his assets for the NFL. This attempt failed and he had to devote himself to a limited role since in the CFL. In two seasons on 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.
“This change already allows me to be on the field more often for the special teams and that helps me a lot. As a Canadian, you want to play on special teams often, show what you can do and maybe have more chances on offense later,” agreed the man who played his rookie season with the Argonauts.
Cibasu didn’t need to weigh the pros and cons for long.
“I told myself that these are sacrifices that I imposed on myself. Football doesn’t last long so why not do it and put the best chance on my side. I trained a lot, I played basketball very often and I really changed my diet. To be honest, I wasn’t eating very well, I cut out all the junk and was serious about my training,” the colossus expressed.
Cibasu would like to thank his personal trainer at Gordo Performance as well as 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 big difference. After all, some may not have recognized it as it has melted like snow in the sun.
“Last year, I was almost a bit chubby. You see it right away in the video when we do special units. There, I move better! When I arrived at the camp, I was flying on special units. Even in the one-on-one exercises for the receivers, it was better. Everyone told me ‘Wow, you’ve really lost weight’. When other people tell you that it just shows in the way I move on the pitch, that’s when you know you’ve done a good job. As an athlete, these are compliments you love to hear. It’s gratifying,” acknowledged Cibasu.
His teammate Marc-Antoine Dequoy, an athletic specimen in his own way, can attest to that.
“His work ethic is incredible and he’s quite an athlete. If that doesn’t show a player’s dedication, I don’t know what does. It’s the kind of mentality and effort you want in your team,” boasted the Alouettes’ starting safe.
With the Carabins, Cibasu has earned several offensive honors and his current weight is similar to that of the Blues (242 pounds). However, he feels stronger and faster. His offensive production will not return to this level of yesteryear, but we can bet that he will capture his first balloons this season. Especially since the Alouettes are now relying on two Canadian receivers in their starting lineup.
“Exactly, I have to be ready for all eventualities. If Hergy (Mayala) or Kaion (Julien-Grant) need a break, I have to be ready”, corroborated Cibasu who will then realize even more that this sacrifice has paid off.