I think of all the suggestions I’ve made during my time at Warwick University, none have been repeated so many times as Excel Leisure Centre in Coventry.

I’ve spent countless hours here in the pursuit of the perfect body. I am grieved to report that I’ve yet to attain an Adonis like figure. My gym partner tells me my abs are coming. “They’re on the way, Cedric” he claims. Lies. 

Each morning at 6am, I make my way to Xcel as I have done for three out of the four years I have been at this university. Above is a photograph of the stunning sunrise I see each day.

One signs in, greeting the friendly but overworked and underpaid staff. I put my things in a locker, usually locker 69 but I’m finding it increasingly less available. Perhaps the other patrons have as infantile a sense of humour as I do.

After a workout, one can mosey down to the swimming pool and do a few lengths. I aim for 40 but rarely achieve more than 38. Then, methodically on may visit the jaccuzzi; steam room and sauna before showering.

Now, my favourite part of this whole morning routine follows the inevitable shower. Breakfast. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, breakfast is included in your membership at Xcel.

Extreme relaxation does not look as good as it feels, apparently! Here I sat with the AquaBabes(TM) who frequent this gym daily at ungodly hours. I admire their resilience to all weather conditions. They are here without fail each day swimming and gossiping. Sometimes they even manage to do both at once. Not at the breakfast table, thankfully.

When one leaves at 9am, they feel refreshed and ready to take on a new day. This oasis is a stone’s throw from Warwick University. It confounds me greatly why it is not more known.

All of what I have described to you starts from the lofty price of £20 a month. And you get a free month if you sign up one of your friends. So go for it! Their January offer includes not having to pay anything until February. Memberships are a minimum of six months. As with all things, I would suggest you do not start if you do not mean to go on.