IN one part of the room, 21-time World champion Paul Murphy is grilling a club member on deadlift technique, coaching her through every minor adaptation necessary.

In another, Aaron Hoskins, the gym owner and an elite international performer himself, is ‘warming up’ with sets of squats at 230 kilograms (kg).

Meanwhile, 23-year-old Callum Lowe is utilising the bench press, lifting loads more than double his 65kg body weight – and others are preparing their various strappings and supports ahead of a challenging session.

My location? The Pembrokeshire Powerlifting Club base in Water Street, Pembroke Dock. And it only took a few glances on arrival, to understand its association with excellence.

It’s then I’m greeted by Murphy, who at 48, needs no introduction to Telegraph Sport readers.

Alongside his afore mentioned World titles, his CV boasts 15 European and 16 British crowns at Open and Masters levels, and too many national and international records for me even to begin to list in this article.

He was instrumental in the formation of the Club back in 2008 – and despite all the success stories since, with eight World champions coming through the ranks, the group have always struggled for a regular training base.

Until now. A year ago it was Hoskins who took over the new facility, located in the same building as Pembroke and Pembroke Dock Boxing Amateur Club. Since then, he and Murphy have secured the relevant weights, machines and equipment, to ensure all members can train without hindrance.

It’s a far cry from the travelling they had to endure beforehand, when trips to gyms Carmarthen and Port Talbot were a necessity in the build up to big competitions. Closer to home, training in Pembrokeshire had to be split over two different centres.

“I remember the old gym at Sir Thomas Picton School,” recalls Murphy.

“If I wanted to put my full weight on the bar for the squat – there was literally no other weight plates left for anyone else in the gym to use. I got some funny looks back then.

“But we meet here every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and sometimes a Saturday if there is more to be done. It’s so much easier to all be under one roof.”

Hoskins unsurprisingly echoes those sentiments.

“Commercial gyms don’t have the right bars and weights,” he adds.

“There’s nothing worse than travelling far and having to battle to train properly.”

But it’s not just local members who favour the new facility.

Earlier this year, the club hosted the BPU Welsh Championships, which saw the place full to the rafters with spectators.

Authorities also approved, so much so that come next March, the venue will again be used for the same event.

“We made a big effort to sort a decent lifting and warm up area,” said Hoskins, himself a six time World champion and multiple record holder, currently competing in regular professional events.

“It was a huge success and a great coup for the club to have it again next year. I’ve been at events where I haven’t wanted to return to the same venue because things aren’t set up properly. We don’t want that.”

It is of no surprise that Hoskins sets high standards. The 33-year-old weighs around 140kg and now competes at Super Heavyweight level, and harbours hopes to soon become only the eighth British powerlifter in history to rack up an overall total of 1000kg for his squat, deadlift, and bench press.

So, given I was about to train alongside him on the squat rack, having recently dropped below 10 stone due to injury constraints this summer, I could be forgiven for being a little apprehensive.

Thankfully, the vastly experienced Murphy was on hand to reassure.

“We have newcomers all the time. It can seem an intimidating sport, but it doesn’t matter how light you are or what weight level you compete at.

“We have people here varying from 47kg to 180kg in weight. Once people start and notice the gains then any fear disappears.”

I didn’t need to look far for an example. Yards away Jane Davies, who only competed for the first time this year at the Bodypower UK Expo in Birmingham, was hard at work.

She travelled purely for experience, and returned having set a new British deadlift record for her category in front of 20,000 people.

So with Paul’s expertise guiding me, I at least knew I was in good hands as I set about honing my squat technique.

Starting with no added weights to the bar, we slowly built up the levels of difficulty, all the time working on the minor yet critical technical points.

Sure enough, it was focussing on the simple things that seemingly made it easier – timing of the breathing, pushing the hips through, and accuracy in grip and stance.

It’s at this point where I wished I’d sought the advice of a figure like Murphy in the early days of my sporting career, and not the twilight.

Whilst I’ve rarely dipped into powerlifting itself, I’ve always been a keen gym goer. But like so many, my work has been self-taught, with progress in amounts lifted undoubtedly tainted by technical flaws and lack of body preservation.

“It’s a common mistake for youngsters to over train or try and lift too much too soon. You have to get the technique correct first,” said Murphy, cementing my afore-mentioned regrets.

“You have to focus on small gains, and slowly moving the ‘safety line’ further and further up.”

“And it’s easy to try and over-train. Those of us here who compete will take rest days every week and then really wind down in the build up to event.

“Three weeks before a competition, we’ll train for a week at around 95%, a week at 65%, and then have a full seven day rest.

“That way you feel fresh going in and you’re not overloading your central nervous system.”

Next it was onto the bench press, a discipline I at least had experience in from my younger, and admittedly more intense, days of training.

I’m able to boast a one rep maximum of 120kg - a personal best set nigh on a decade ago, but one I’m proud of none the less given my not so formidable frame.

I was about to learn, that mark probably could have been higher had I ever taken time to educate myself on correct procedure.

Again we focussed on minor points, building up weight slowly. Pulling the feet back before dipping under the bar, ensuring a central line of gravity, driving the triceps, all such simple but necessary practices.

I feared my final discipline, the deadlift, would be my most problematic. I have tried it fleetingly over the years with limited success – and have long swapped my struggles with the bar for the cop-out of gym machines designed to enhance back muscles.

And within seconds of my first lift, I was given an insight as to why I’d never prospered.

“The bar must stay close to your body all the way up – your shins, then your knees and quads, and really push your hips out at the end of the lift,” Paul advised.

And whilst the amendments may not have immediately pushed me towards new national records, the immediate difference was astronomical.

“Again it’s about keeping a balance and a central line of gravity,” Murphy added.

We worked on the two different types of stance – orthodox and sumo, and I found even the basic pointers, keeping my head up and pushing my chest out as I embarked of each lift, proved beneficial.

Until fatigue reared its ugly head, I even admit to enjoying the self-satisfaction of each improved lift.

Having said that, it may take another session or two before I’m in line with the likes of Murphy, with career personal bests of 317.5kg (squat), 185kg (bench press), and 312.5kg (deadlift) to his name, but from my inaugural 90 minute session, it was clear to see why the Pembrokeshire Powerlifting Club has accumulated such success in a short space of time.

But does the club, along with the sport as a whole, get the recognition it deserves?

“It’s often overlooked that we fund ourselves,” said Murphy, somewhat diplomatically.

“We might not get loads of recognition but we focus on results – and we’re not vain or proud.

“In this sport it doesn’t matter what you look like. People can turn up here in their work clothes and just get on with it.”

But for how much longer will Murphy himself be getting on with it? As one of Pembrokeshire’s finest ever sportsman, deservedly recognised with a Lifetime Achievement honour in 2102 at the county’s annual Sport Awards, is there anything left to prove?

Plenty in fact, both with and without a barbell in hand.

With a hip injury threatening to rule him out of the impending British Championships, Murphy admits he can only keep going for as long as his body allows. But his time left in the sport, is anything but limited.

It’s of little surprise his son Andrew, who competes at Junior Under 24 level, is making great strides.

Already a multiple champion at national and international level, he recently set a new British squat record for his age group at the European Championships in Helsinki. And yet he is just one of many who Murphy hopes to help guide to success in the years to come.

And hearteningly, it won’t be for financial benefit.

“I don’t coach for money,” he explained.

“I was given it for free and I will pass it on for free.

“I’m also a qualified national referee now, which is another avenue to explore in the sport when I do retire myself.”

Although don’t expect the latter development to come before November, when Murphy, Hoskins and co will embark on a trip to Moscow and another World Championships. And once that’s over, I expect to be writing my now annual piece on global titles won and international records set from members of the Pembrokeshire Powerlifting Club.

The club’s persona is low key, the standards set are anything but.

Granted, the theory that leg strength is critical in powerlifting rings true as I write this, with the feelings in my hamstrings and calves somewhat excruciating as I sit hunched over my desk.

But my discomfort derives from a 90 minute session, where I walked out of the club’s doors at the end of the night a considerably more competent and knowledgeable powerlifter than when I walked in.

And my advice to any budding young powerlifter? Or confident gym goer ready to take on the world with daily sessions? Or simply anyone unsure of the squat, bench press or deadlift exercises?

Go and see the guys at Pembrokeshire Powerlifting Club, and sort out your techniques, safety measures and training methods.

Otherwise, you’ll soon be 33 and wishing you’d had the common sense to do it years ago……