My Review for My FAVORITE Single-Prong Powerlifting Belt
Let’s cut to the chase here: I bought this belt for one main reason — the half-inch increments on the belt’s holes.
I prefer wearing my belt tight. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be an issue for most people; however, since I am still in the intermediate stages of my training phase — I go through periods of gaining and losing weight.
This means that the circumference of my waist is constantly changing.
Additionally, most belts are created with a 1” separation between each hole. Because of this, I frequently find myself in situations where the hole that I used to use now feels too tight, or am unable to actually get it.
Or, I can be in a situation where the hole I used to use is too big and I can’t quite get the next one over.
These scenarios leave me in a situation where the belt isn’t as tight as I’d like it to be.
ENTER: “Pioneer Cut” by General Leathercraft Mfg.
The Pioneer Cut is a patent-pending configuration where each hole is spaced at half an inch from each other in a diagonal fashion.
This allows the lifter to get a more exact level of tightness that wouldn’t otherwise be possible with one-inch spacing between each hole. For people like me, who go through phases of weight gain and weight reduction — this is a must-have.
My Experience w/ the Pioneer Cut Belt
The belt that I purchased was a 4-inch, 13-mm all-black leather belt called “Stock Pioneer Cut”.
Being a leather belt meant that it needed some breaking into before I could use it. However, from the very first second that I got it & put it on — I knew this would be a good one.
At the time, I was stuck between the 7th & 8th hole on my Steel Sweat leather belt. The 7th wasn’t tight enough. I could feel the belt move a little bit at the set-up position for the deadlift.
The 8th, I just couldn’t get.
The next day I had Deadlifts, I wore it all through warm-ups and there was zero discomfort. It didn’t stab my rib cage or anything.
Two days later, I had Squats. Again: tight, comfortable, awesome.
One of my favorite things about wearing a belt tight is the feeling of “tightening” during the heaviest part of the lift. Typically half-way through a pull or at the bottom of a Squat. Even unracking the bar for Squats or Presses.
I enjoy the sensation of having that extra “oomph” behind your lift. I only ever get that “oomph” sensation from a belt that’s very tight.
Whether I can actually lift more weight or not might be subject to discussion, but at worst I may be “placeboing” myself.
In believing that I can lift more weight with a tighter belt — I end up lifting more weight when the belt is tight. And that works for me.
Technology & Features of the Pioneer Cut Belt
Really, the primary reason to purchase the Pioneer Belt is for the patented hole spacing.
Will other companies come out with different technologies that allow for half-inch spacing between the holes? Yes, most likely.
As of now, this is the only one.
(As an aside: Pioneer belts are IPF-approved.)
It comes in various materials: Leather & Suede. And there are four primary choices.
The Stock Pioneer-Cut Belt (the one I own). This is an all black leather belt with no customization options. It’s four inches wide, and 13-millimeters thick.
The Pioneer-Cut Leather Belt This is a tan version of the Pioneer Cut belt. Still leather, but it allows for more customization such as the colors of the stitching, addition of images, messages, and whether you want it treated or not.
Custom-Dyed Pioneer Cut Leather Belt The last leather option is the custom-dyed. This offers the most customization in terms of how you want it to look.
- There are 13-mm and a 8.5-mm options
- Over a dozen dye options
- Dozens of color choices for the inside of the belt
- Addition of images & messages
- Stiching & edging options, as well.
Suede Pioneer Cut Leather Belt This last, but not least, option is the Suede Leather Belt. It comes with some level of customization. But not as much as the Custom-Dyed belt. Also, it’s only available in 13-millimeters of thickness.
Overall, the Pioneer Cut is one of the more exciting technologies to hit the Powerlifting scene.
You now get the ease of use & adjustment that comes with a single-prong belt at a very reasonable price. The other comparable SBD-Belt is more than double the price for a very similar feature (a gliding buckle that allows for tighter spacing).
I’d recommend this to ANYONE that enjoys lifting with tighter belts and don’t want to break the bank.