I've made some good progress these past few months.

I'm 36 5'10 180 and just got serious about lifting weights these past 6 months. I've gone from a relative total weakling to the current 5 rep maxes. I know they're still pretty puny but from whence I came it seems like allot.

Bench 180x5
Deadlift 225x6, 245x2
ATF Squat 175x5
Military(first rep is a push press to get me going) 130x5

I've put on a good amount of muscle I think but also a good amount of fat as well. I'd estimate myself anywhere between 17-19% BF. Mostly in my gut. I wanted to bulk through Christmas and then cut but everything is getting so damn tight on me I feel bloated and gross.

I seem to have a hard time gaining muscle but don't have too fast of a metabolism either. I was able to put on muscle by hitting about 3300-3500 calories a day.

My plan is to reduce calories to about 500 below maintenance (around 2200 a day) and keep it to allot of small meals and clean protein and carbs (high carbs only pre and post workout). I do have one question. Is there a recommended amount of calories to go below maintenance to keep muscle? Is it not good to drop below 500 calories and maintain muscle?

I'm hoping to loose about 10 pounds and keep all of my gains that I've earned. I still think I have some legs in Squats and Deads so am hoping I can still push the weight up even while cutting.

My plan is to get down to 12% and then go back to bulking.

Thanks all for any comments/advice!