MONTREAL – Was it the early wake-up call and the two-hour drive that obscured our view? We had to rub our eyes to make sure it wasn’t. In fact, it was Régis Cibasu, at least the skinny 34-pound version of this athlete.
The difference is staggering and it is obvious. During the offseason, 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 asked me to lose some weight, saying it would help me a lot at the special teams level and on offense to get more participation and opportunity to see the field,” Cibasu explained.
We wanted to know more about this story as soon as we saw number 83 at the Alouettes’ training ground in Trois-Rivières. In 2021, Cibasu had accepted the mission to act as central. This year he resumed his catcher role, but on the condition that he be “thinner.” The use of quotation marks is correct because Cibasu still weighs 232 pounds and is six feet three inches tall.
“I approached it with the mindset 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 of the University of Montreal.
Recounting this transformation, Cibasu flashes his characteristic big smile. But this project sometimes made him lose this charismatic tool.
“I lost over 30 pounds, it wasn’t easy,” he admits with a laugh. It is definitely a great challenge. You can say to yourself: ‘Maybe they don’t have a great interest in me.’ But I chose to see everything positively, I thought it wouldn’t be bad for me to lose the extra weight. It could help me physically and mentally and I can already see it,” he said.
After excelling with the Carabins, Cibasu attempted to promote his assets to 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 give a single assist. His patience was rewarded with his first complete pass, in the second game of the season against Toronto.
“This change already allows me to be on the field more often for 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 get more opportunities on offense 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 that these are sacrifices that I put 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 got rid of all the garbage and I was serious about my training.”
Cibasu would like to thank his personal trainer at Gordo Performance, as well as Pierre-Olivier Breault, the Alouette’s strength and conditioning coach.
“I am very grateful for your help. »
Speaking of recognition, he’s delighted to see his teammates notice a big difference. After all, some may not have recognized him so much that he melted like snow in the sun.
“Last year, I was almost a little chubby. You see it right away in the video when we do special units. I move better there! When I got to the camp, I I was flying in special units. Even in the one-on-one drills for the receivers, he was better. Everyone was like, ‘Wow, you’ve really lost weight. When other people tell you that it only 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 would love to hear. It’s gratifying,” Cibasu acknowledged.
His teammate Marc-Antoine Dequoy, an athletic specimen in his own way, can attest to that.
“His work ethic is incredible and he is quite an athlete. If that doesn’t show a player’s dedication, I don’t know what does. He is the kind of mindset and effort you want on your team,” the Alouettes’ sure-fire starter boasted.
With the Carabineros, 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 won’t return to the level it used to be, but we can bet he’ll catch his first few balls this season. Especially since the Alouettes now rely on two Canadian wide receivers in their starting lineup.
“Exactly, I have to be prepared for all eventualities. If Hergy (Mayala) or Kaion (Julien-Grant) need a break, I have to be ready”, confirmed Cibasu, who will later realize even more that this sacrifice has paid off.
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