There's tough, and then there's tough

“There’s tough, and then there’s tough.
Let us introduce you to some members of a winter swimming club in…, where temperatures often reach 30 degrees Celsius below zero.”

–Also were found: “There’s tough… then there’s Tina Clark tough!” and “There’s ‘tough’ and then, there’s Rollergirl tough” which makes it look a set expression and sound like ‘there is (someone) tough and there is someone even tougher’.
Used to compare two things, each of them outstanding?..

I’d say,
Used to compare two things: the first, good to excellent; the second, outstanding.

Can I write as below when comparing:
“Both things are very good; the first, good to excellent; the second, outstanding.”
Please comment.

It’s not logical. How can something ‘good’ be ‘very good’. How can something ‘very good’ be ‘outstanding’.

You could say

Both things are above average, the first …