The muscle spasm in my back is much better and I can feel the weakness in my left leg starting to go away slowly. The joint sprain is still there but since sprains heal slowly, I expect I'll have to work around it for a few more weeks. Since I can't set up in my normal bench press arch, I decided it would be a good opportunity to spend some time with floor presses to complement my incline dumbbell presses.
I was happy that I was able to add an extra work set of 315x5 in the back squat. As my leg improves and regains strength, I'll keep adding volume until I'm doing three sets of 10 reps with 315. I'll do sets of 10 for 3-4 weeks before dropping to sets of 8 for the next 4 weeks.
After the short back squat workout, I moved to floor presses. Before, when I could set up in an arch and use a max width competition grip, the bar would actually touch my chest when doing floor presses so I never spent much time on them. Now, with a narrower grip and a flat back, the bar is still 2-3 inches above my chest when doing floor presses so I can actually work them in a range of motion that is different from my competition bench press. I didn't go heavy on these as my goal is to eventually work up to sets of 8-10 reps but I did notice that it was difficult to generate speed from the stop point at the bottom of the press. Since this stop point on floor presses is right about where my sticking point starts on my competition bench press, I think floor presses should have some very beneficial carryover.
After floor presses, barbell rows and incline dumbbell presses were next. Since I'm still building up my tolerance for a different workload, I limited my worksets on these. I finished up with dumbbell curls, rope pushdowns and some sets on the ab crunch machine. I have alot of opportunity for improvement in all of these areas so I'm looking forward to the next 8 weeks of base building as a launching pad for my training for the Ontario Powerlifting Association Classic Provincials on November 24th.
Back Squats: 135x10, 225x10, 315x5x2 sets
Floor Presses: 135x10, 185x10, 225x7, 225x6, 225x4
Barbell Rows: 135x10, 185x8, 225x5x2 sets
Incline Dumbbell Presses: 75x10, 90x10, 100x6
Dumbbell Curls: 35x12, 35x8, 35x6
Rope Pushdowns: 50x10, 50x10, 50x8
Ab Crunch Machine: 45x10, 90x10, 90x8, 90x4, 45x10
27 total sets is more than I had been doing during my last pre-competition training cycles and it feels good to get in some workload density. Increasing my work capacity is another huge area of opportunity for me and improvements in this area should also go a long way towards my goals of PR's come this November.