Hey guys

I've been training pretty seriously since the beginning of the summer, with reasonable results for a beginner I think.

My problem is throughout the summer I always worked out with a spotter. However, since I went back to school I've had to workout by myself. This is alright for most exerciseís but Iíve been afraid to use the bench for incline/decline and regular bench press incase I am unable to lift the weight back up. The gym I work out now doesn't have the benches with the safety on them either.

So Iíve had to rely on the Smith Machine. But for some reason, I never felt like Iíve been able to work the muscles as much, and my progress has defiantly slowed on my chest.

I guess my question is if anyone else has had this problem, and if so, what can be done about it? My workout is suffering because of it.