Hector Decarie

Louis Cyr's Canadian successor, Hector Decarie (1880-1954) was also one of his last opponents. Decarie is credited with a 317 lb bent press while weighing only 191 lbs at 5' 7".

The bent press, aka the "screw press", was supposedly invented by Professor Louis Attila and was a staple of many a strongman's routine. There are also those who contend that Richard Pennell independently invented this style of lift on the North American continent. A huge amount of weight could be elevated and accordingly, it was a real crowd pleaser. The best ever at this lift, Arthur Saxon, hoisted 386 lbs in 1906. The bent press was also an integral part of many a strong man's two hands anyhow lift.

The bent press was to previous generations of lifters what the squat is today: truly the "King Of Lifts", but by the late 1920's it was no longer practiced much as revealed in this 1927 Strength article.

Bent press technique: After getting the weight up to one's shoulder, the next step is to dip one's trunk and simultaneously elevate the bar to locked position. In the photos above, note how the trunk can be oriented either to the front or side during the process of raising the weight. In either case, for the lifter to finish his bent press he will have to reassume an upright stance with the bar still locked out overhead.

In the 1937 article that's reprinted below George Sailor admonishes readers to start practicing the bent press once again despite the lift's then antiquated status and the hegemony of the two armed Olympic movements. I'm including it here to illustrate how each and every generation of strength has had its die-hard traditionalist element...