Cut? Bulk? Or.....?

I wanted to get the opinions of some of the more experienced guys on here (hopefully some will be browsing the Beginner forums), on what my next step should be.

I’m 27, about 215 lbs. at 6’…I’m guessing, but I would say my body fat is somewhere between 15-18%. In other words, I don’t look like shit without a shirt on, but it’s nothin great either.

My goal is eventually to be around 220-230 cut.

Anyway, I’ve lifted since high school on and off, but only got serious about 2 years ago. A year into getting serious I fucked up my shoulder and lower back and stopped lifting for a while after I got a new job.

I’m back in the gym now for about 2 months but warming up/dynamic stretching/foam rolling and my body is feeling great, but I definitely lost a LOT of strength.

I just can’t decide on how I should be eating. Right now I’m guessing I get around 3000 calories per day, all pretty clean. P+C first half of the day on lifting days and P+F all other meals.

“Max” lifts right now (don’t really go for max, plus they would suck anyway) are:

Bench - 165 lbs.
Front Squat - 185 lbs.
DL - 245 lbs.

I know I need to get a lot stronger, but I also have this feeling like I want to cut and be lean for once, but I just don’t know if that’s the best move right now since my numbers are so low.

Can I get some opinions?

Why not stick around maintenance level for caloric intake and focus on improving your lifts?

At you’re stage of development, you should be able to build muscle and strength while gradually shedding fat.

True. I tend to overthink things sometimes.

MUST GET STRONGERRRR

At 215, and benching/front squatting well below bodyweight, you’ve got no business considering cutting man. You don’t have anything to “cut” to. Body recomp is what you should be doing, like HK said. Clean up the diet, lower, carbs, increase protein, stop eating shit foods, and get stronger, while eating around maintenance.

Cool, thanks fellas. That’s what I’ve been doing, guess I just needed to hear someone else say it.

yea man, definitely get stronger… I mean, if youre freaking 215 bench 165 your doing something wrong! What is your diet like? If I would just keep getting stronger and get bigger and then cut… but while getting bigger and stronger, you need to really focus on your diet! Do more squats and deadlifts ( heavy)