Analyses of motor unit activity provide a window to the neural control of motor output. In recent years, considerable advancements in surface EMG decomposition methods have allowed for the discrimination of dozens of individual motor units across a range of muscle forces. While these non-invasive methods show great potential as an emerging technology, they have difficulty discriminating a representative sample of the motor pool. In the present study, we investigate the distribution of recruitment thresholds and motor unit action potential waveforms obtained from high density EMG across four muscles: soleus, tibialis anterior, biceps brachii, and triceps brachii. Ten young and healthy control subjects generated isometric torque ramps between 10-50% maximum voluntary torque during elbow or ankle flexion and extension. Hundreds of motor unit spike trains were decomposed for each muscle across all trials. For lower contraction levels and speeds, surface EMG decomposition discriminated a large number of low-threshold units. However, during contractions of greater speed and torque level the proportion of low threshold motor units decomposed was reduced, resulting in a relatively uniform distribution of recruitment thresholds. The number of motor units decomposed decreased as the contraction level and speed increased. The decomposed units showed a wide range of recruitment thresholds and motor unit action potential amplitudes. In conclusion, although surface EMG decomposition is a useful tool to study large populations of motor units, results of such methods should be interpreted in the context of limitations in sampling of the motor pool.