For the past 2 years i've been working out regularly, however the gym i was using was in my apartment building and was far from the best, but it's hard to justify shelling out $80 a month for a good gym when you have one that's free and convenient.
Anyways, there was no bench, no squat rack etc.. so squats were done in the smith machine as were bench press. A couple weeks ago i moved and am now at a real gym, and had some humbling experiences squating and benching. (deadlifts were much easier with a real bar instead of an easy curl bar...)
Should i just be slowly working my way back up to decent weight with squats and bench, or are there other excercises I should be doing to get stabilizer muscles up to par with the big ones? Should i be going lower weight, higher reps until the stabilizers catch up, or is it safe to try to push the weight up quickly doing 5x5?
any advice would be appreciated.