CFL: Régis Cibasu, of the Montreal Alouettes, lost 34 pounds for the good of his career

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 this wasn’t the case. It was indeed Régis Cibasu, at least the 34-pound slim version of this athlete.

The difference is amazing and it’s obvious. During the off-season, the Montreal Alouettes player agreed to go all out on the transformation suggested 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 and told me that it would help me a lot on the special teams level and on the offense to have more engagement and chance to see the field explains Cibasu.

We wanted to know more about this story as soon as we saw number 83 at Alouettes training camp in Trois-Rivières. By 2021, Cibasu had accepted the mission of training as a central defender. This year, he resumed his role as curator, but on the condition that he be “leaner”. The use of quotation marks is in order because Cibasu still weighs 232 pounds and is six feet three inches tall.

“I approached it with the mindset to lose the most weight but to stay strong because if I have to block big guys like defensive goals I have to be able to do it. But I had to get light enough to run around the track and to be more versatile,” described the former Carabins of the University of Montreal.

When narrating this transformation, Cibasu shows his trademark big smile. But this project sometimes caused him to lose this charismatic tool.

“I’ve lost over 30 pounds, it wasn’t easy,” he admits with a laugh. It is certainly a big challenge. You can say to yourself, “Maybe they aren’t very interested in me.” But I chose to see it all positively, I thought it wouldn’t be a bad thing 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 sought to promote his assets for the NFL. This attempt failed and he has been forced to focus on a limited role in the CFL ever since. In two seasons on the Canadian circuit, he has not yet had a single assist. His patience was rewarded with his first completed pass, in the second game of the season, against Toronto.

“Because of this change, I’m already on the field for the special teams more often and that helps me a lot. As a Canadian you often want to play in special teams, show what you can and maybe have more offensive opportunities 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 I have imposed on myself. Football doesn’t last long so why not do it and give the best chance by my side. I trained a lot, I played basketball a lot and I really changed my diet. To be honest, I didn’t eat very well, I cut all the junk and was serious about my training,” said the behemoth.

Cibasu would like to thank his personal trainer at Gordo Performance, as well as Pierre-Olivier Breault, the strength and conditioning coach of the Alouettes.

“I am very grateful for their help. †

Speaking of recognition, he’s excited to see his teammates make a big difference. After all, some may not have recognized it, because it has melted like snow in the sun.

“Last year I was almost a little chubby† You can see it right away in the video when we do special units. I move better there! When I got to the camp, was flying on special units. Even the one-on-one exercises for the recipients went better. Everyone said to me ‘Wow, you’ve really lost weight’. When others tell you it just shows by the way I walk on the field, then you know you’ve done a great job. As an athlete, these are compliments that you like to hear. It’s gratifying,” Cibasu acknowledged.

His teammate Marc-Antoine Dequoy, an athletic specimen in his own way, can confirm this.

“His work ethic is incredible and he is quite an athlete. If that doesn’t show a player’s dedication, then I don’t know what does. It’s the kind of mentality and commitment you want in your team,” boasted de Alouettes’ safe start.

With the Carabins, Cibasu earned several offensive honors and his current weight is comparable to that of the Blues era (242 pounds). However, he feels stronger and faster. His offensive production will not return to the level of yesteryear, but we can be sure that he will catch his first balloons this season. Especially since the Alouettes now rely on two Canadian 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”, confirms Cibasu who will then realize even more that this sacrifice has paid off.

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