My vote is to keep eating and lifting intensely…build a solid foundation of size then cut off the fat and have a good, solid physique.
Or you could cut the fat now, waste a bunch of time, probably lose some muscle that you really can’t afford to lose, etc and take longer to build a truly stand-out physique.[/quote]
Nail, meet head. This is exactly what is working for me. I’m a few years older than you and a few pounds heavier, but think everyone needs to focus on building a strong foundation of muscle FIRST.
When I started I was 20% body fat. The guys on BB.com kept saying “If you’re over 15% body fat, start cutting”. I cut down to 12% body fat, and hardly looked better. I still had fat accumulation in the same spots, just less of it.
The more muscle you gain, at a given body weight, the lower a percentage of your body is fat. In the beginning, you will experience fat loss along with muscle gain. Don’t focus on small pieces, when the whole thing needs improvement.