I train alone in my garage, for safety reasons I use a smith machine for doing the bench press and the squat. Will I be making the same progress as if I was using free weights? Is smith machine bench press effective?
There are advantages and disadvantages of using a Smith machine. The advantage is without a doubt the fact that you will be isolating the chest more specifically as using free weights will be using many other stabilizing muscle groups. But the disadvantages are that training with a Smith machine only will not allow you to switch to a free weight press and use the same weight. Simply because you will not have developed all the necessary supporting muscles that one needs to use when doing a press with free weights.
For more information go to Best Bench Press Program