Im 47 this year. Weighing 176lb at 1.72m tall.
Bodyfat at about 22%. No visible abs but some decent muscularity on upper body and legs.
I have lost some lean muscle mass over the past year despite still lifting some 3-4x a week.
Likely due to less than ideal hormonal profile (suspect low free T, high Estradiol and Cortisol levels) and constantly in a slight caloric deficit (daily at about 1800Cal). Macros are at Protein 40%, Fats and Carbs at 30/40% depending on rest or workout days.
Im in a fix now. To build back some lean mass and bump up my metabolism right now, I should be bringing up calories. But Im afraid to do so, as I worry it might lead to more fat gains.
Due to my slightly waned strength levels(esp for Squats and Deadlifts) and achy joints, I do full body routines, all compound lifts, at lower volume these days. That way I hit each bodypart with higher frequency. Moderate intensity at about 70-85%. Rarely pushing it at 90-100%. Always a squat variant/hip hinge, or a horizontal/vertical push-pull for each workout. 15 working sets at most and usually less than 90reps all in.
I read most articles that I should aim to lean up to low teens bodyfat before even considering going into a caloric surplus. Would cutting calories even further lead to more sluggish metabolism and catabolism?
Should i bulk or cut at this point?
What about workout routines? Anything I should tweak?
A confused soul seeking sound advice.