push the envelope
Most likely originally used in racing or aeronautics to define the limit of speed/performance/etc. Now of course improperly used to define something extremely lame. Normally when this term is pulled out it really only translates to, "What we really should be doing every day if we were competent. What should be normal, but we only get that kind of work when we really go out of our way to try, and even that's debatable."